In the wake of recent security breaches at a major U.S. retailer, identity theft has become a real issue and fear that many Americans face. It is a good time to remind ourselves what we can do to help prevent ourselves from becoming a victim of identity theft.
The IRS has provided some basic tips to help prevent identity theft:
- Don’t carry your Social Security card or any documents that include your Social Security Number.
- Don’t give a business your SSN just because they ask for it. Only give it when required.
- Protect your financial information.
- Check your credit report every 12 months.
- Protect your personal computers by using anti-spam virus software, updating security patches and changing passwords for internet accounts.
- Don’t give personal information over the phone, through mail, or on the internet unless you have initiated the contact and you are sure you know who you are dealing with.