The most important step that you can take for identity theft prevention is to order a new copy of your credit reports at least once a year to prevent being caught by surprise charges and accounts. You can request a free credit report from one of the many reputable credit companies available online or you can pay for a copy by requesting it directly through one of the major credit bureaus.
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Other things you can do for identity theft prevention include the following tips: Don’t carry unneeded credit cards, your Social Security card, your birth certificate or other personal documents in your purse or wallet. Keep track of all your ATM, credit card, debit card and other receipts. Either store these documents in a safe place or destroy them before putting them in the trash.
Additionally, if you have credit card accounts that you do not use, cancel them. Also, it is a good idea to keep a list of all of your credit card account numbers and the companies’ telephone numbers so you can cancel them quickly and easily in case they are stolen or lost. Just be sure you choose a safe place to leave the hard copy.
Lastly, protect your Social Security number as much as possible. This number is one piece of information that is always needed to open bank accounts and apply for credit cards. Do not give it out to any person or company unless you are familiar with them and you have initiated the communication.