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Thwart identity theft

gavel10045010.jpgThere are many different ways for people to protect themselves and their family members from identity theft. This article discusses several of these tips to help people keep their identity and personal finances safe from thieves.

Shred documents

It is a really good idea for a person to shred important documents when they no longer need them. This way important numbers and personal information about finances etc., will not be able to be obtained from these papers.

Important documents can include, but of course they are not limited to, bank statements, pay stubs, credit card statements, etc. Any document that may contain a social security number, account number, passwords, and other personal information should be shredded if it is no longer needed.

Anti-virus software

Many people do not receive as much paper anymore. They may now get their bank statement and credit card statements sent directly to their email. For this, and for many other reasons, it is very important that a person has anti-virus software on their computer. Hackers can easily get on a computer that is not protected and take personal information such as passwords, account numbers, credit card numbers, etc.

Watch out for scams

Thieves are getting smarter and that means is that people just need to get smarter to protect their identity. It is crucial for people to watch out for scams. Many times a person may receive and email that may seem real, but is actually a scam. The scams can vary widely, from a person needing money to help them get home or pay their hospital bills to an email that looks like it is from a person's bank where they have an account. No matter what the email contains, if it asks for personal information then it is almost always a scam.

Most banks and credit unions have made it clear that they will never ask a person to send them social security numbers, their account number, their password(s), etc. The banks and credit unions have this information already. And if a person gets an email asking for money, even if there is a promise that they will it will all be repaid, plus some, it is a scam and they should not send money anywhere to anyone.

People also need to be aware that scammers do not just use email; they may also call or text a person. Many times people will receive a call or a text from their bank. But of course it is not their bank because they will ask for personal information that the bank already has on file.


It is a good idea for a person to review their personal finance information frequently. Reviewing credit history, credit card statements, banks accounts, etc. is a great way for a person to make sure that their identity is safe and they can catch any problems or issues early before much damage is done.

Keep things safe

A person needs to keep their personal information safe. They should not carry their social security card, passport, or birth certificate with them unless it is absolutely necessary to do so. They should keep these documents in a safe place in their house.

It is also a good idea for a person to keep a copy of their account numbers, passwords, etc., in a safe place off of their computer. A computer that is hooked up to the internet is not the safest place to store this valuable information.

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