Identity Theft Myths Part 2of3 During PYIW
Identity Theft Expert Robert Siciliano
The National Foundation for Credit Counselors, which sponsors Protect Your Identity Week, has compiled a number of identity theft myths. To support their efforts, the Santa Fe Group Vendor Council Awareness and Education Subcommittee has helped to clarify some common misinformation with regards to this increasingly common crime.
Checking your credit report periodically or using a credit monitoring service is all you need to do to protect yourself from identity theft. There are many credit monitoring services available. However, no monitoring service is 100% effective, and many do little to protect your identity. If you want to be vigilant about identity theft, follow the prevention tips at the link under Myth 1, keep accurate financial records, and check your credit report often for any unauthorized charges.
o http://www.annualcreditreport.com (a free federal program for obtaining your credit reports. You don’t have to order all reports at the same time. Many consumer groups suggest you stagger your reports throughout the year.)
• My personal contact information (mailing address, telephone number, email address, etc.) is not valuable to an identity thief. Any information that could be used by a thief to impersonate you should be protected. For example, many people use their email address as a user ID for online accounts. Consider making your information available on a need-to-know basis only. Often businesses ask for personal information they really don’t need, and will simply omit information you’re not willing to give.
o See “What Should I do to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Identity Theft”
• Shredding my mail and other personal documents will keep me safe.Shredding documents that contain personal information before you throw them away is a great way to protect yourself from “dumpster diving” — when thieves search trash for personal information. But relying on your shredder alone to protect you is like locking one window while leaving the rest of your house wide open. Think defensively: secure your personal information in your home, your car, and at work, and always use safe online security practices.
Invest in Intelius identity theft protection and prevention. Not all forms of identity theft protection can be prevented, but identity theft protection services can dramatically reduce your risk.
Robert Siciliano “Disclosures” Identity Theft Speaker discussing data theft on Fox News