Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Three Steps to Help Reduce Your Risk of Identity theft

1. Practice safe shopping online.
Follow these three basic rules whenever you're online: never give out your personal information to unsolicited emails, only shop on sites you know you can trust, and make sure the site you're entering your information into is secure. You can tell a site is secure if there is a closed lock in the browser window, or the web address starts with "https:".

2. Remove unnecessary items from your wallet.
When you go out to purchase the items on your holiday shopping list, don't take everything with you. Lost and stolen wallets, checkbooks, and cards account for about 33% of all identity fraud. Only take the card or checkbook you'll need.

3. Check your statements as soon as you receive them.
Keep all of your receipts and as soon as you receive your monthly statement, reconcile it against them. If you find even the smallest discrepancy, notify your bank or credit card company immediately.