1. Protect your Social Security Number (SSN): minimize use of your SSN and don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet. Click here to learn more.
  2. Be on alert for “phishing” email scams: don’t respond to requests to verify your account number or password.
  3. Shred often: shred or tear up documents with personally identifiable information before you throw them away, this includes “convenience checks” and credit card offers.
  4. Shield your computer from viruses and spyware: follow our Getting Started Guide and use strong passwords.
  5. Click with caution: read the Web site’s privacy policy, look for opportunities to opt out of information sharing and only enter personal information on secure Web pages with “https” in the address bar and a padlock symbol at the bottom of the browser window.
  6. Check your bills and bank statements: for any unauthorized charges or withdrawals and report them immediately.
  7. Stop pre-approved credit offers: they make a tempting target for identity thieves who steal your mail. Remove your name from credit bureau marketing lists by visiting https://www.optoutprescreen.com/ or calling 1-888-5OPTOUT.
  8. Ask questions: whenever you are asked for personal information that seems inappropriate for the transaction, ask how the information will be used, if it will be shared and how it will be protected. Not satisfied with the answers? Do business elsewhere.
  9. Monitor your credit report: you’re entitled to free credit reports at http://www.annualcreditreport.com. Learn how to read your report using our Identity Theft Guide.
  10. Take this quiz: see how you stack up in this Identity Theft IQ Quiz provided by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.
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