Identity Thief 8/8/2009 How to avoid it!

Identity Thief
How to avoid it!
Prevention Tips
Social Security Number
• Trying to minimize who can peek at your Social Security number
on campus may be difficult. Lots of schools use Social Security
numbers as student ID numbers. Some professors post grades
by Social Security number and request that a Social Security
number be placed on all term papers. Some tips to keeping
your Social Security number safe include:
• Memorizing your Social Security number and never write it
down on anything you carry.
• Requesting a randomly generated student ID number instead of
using your Social Security number. If you can't get the school to
give you a new student ID number, you can at least approach
individual professors about using a random number on term
papers and test postings.
• If your Social Security number is on your student ID, making
sure you know where your ID is at all times.
• Before giving out your Social Security number, always asking
why it's needed.
Always safeguard your personal information. Avoid giving out your Social Security number or bank
account numbers online, to unsolicited callers or verbally (e.g., in a store) where others may be
Don’t carry your Social Security card or print your Social Security number on your checks or driver’s
Get into the habit of reading your mail, especially monthly statements. Pay attention to your
monthly bills and call your bank, credit card issuer or utility company if you notice any suspicious
activity or if don’t receive your statement. Always check receipts against your monthly statements.
Shred your receipts, pre-approved credit card offers and any other documents that contain
personal information before you throw them away.
Review your credit reports regularly.
Deposit mail in US Postal Service Collection boxes, and don’t leave mail in your mailbox overnight
or on weekends. Each time you change dorms or move off-campus it’s important to have mail
forwarded to the new address and to make arrangements with the post office to hold mail if you’re
planning to be away for long periods of time.
When you write a check to make a payment on your credit card, don’t write the entire account
number on it – use just the last four digits.
Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately.
Record and store your account information. Many college students move back and forth from
school and home several times, so there is a greater chance that credit cards or financial
information may be misplaced. Record credit card account numbers, expiration dates and
customer service department numbers and store in a safe location. If you realize your credit or
charge cards have been lost or stolen, immediately call the issuer.
Protect your personal information when shopping online. Online purchases should only be made
on secure Web sites. Look for an icon of a padlock or solid key to verify that the site is a safe one.
Use a firewall program on your computer, especially if you leave your computer connected to the
Internet 24 hours a day. Do not download files sent to you by strangers or click on hyperlinks from
people you don’t know.
Avoid scams
• There are many scams on the internet these days.
Thieves will pretend to be your bank and ask for
personal information update or account numbers.
• NEVER give an account number or personal
information over the internet.
• Use passwords that can not be cracked. Never use
your name or family members names, dates of
birth, etc.
• Use passwords that have numbers and letters and
make no sense like J17mb45K.
• Change your password every 30 days
Credit Cards and Checks
• Keep all your credit cards and checks in a
safe place.
• Have your numbers written down along
with the company phone number so if
they are stolen you can report it
immediately. Thieves usually begin
purchasing on credit cards immediately so
it is important to get the credit card
company to stop the credit card.
Never give friends your
• Even though you might trust your friend,
you never know who else will be around
your friend and hear the information and
use it against you.