What’s the best way to minimize your risk of becoming an identity theft victim?

There’s not a lot you can do to stop or prevent identity theft. However, there are some steps to take which will decrease your risk.

  • Don’t give out your Social Security Number unnecessarily.
  • Use a cross-cut shredder to dispose of documents with personal information.
  • Place outgoing mail in collection boxes or the U.S. Post Office.
  • Review bank and credit card statements carefully.
  • Be very careful how you password protect you financial accounts online. A strong password should be more than eight characters in length, and contain both capital letters and at least one numeric or other non alphabetical character. Use of non-dictionary words is also recommended.
  • Use firewall software to protect computer information. Keep virus and spyware software programs updated.
  • Reduce the number of preapproved credit card offers you receive: 888-5OPT-OUT. You may begin the permanent Opt-Out process online at
  • Order your free annual credit reports on-line at:
  • You may also “freeze” your credit report.
Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) article on ID Theft: