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Deter Identity Theft

Deter Identity Theft


Identity theft prevention is important to deter thieves from stealing your personal information or using your name and credit without your knowledge or permission. By following a few simple identity theft prevention practices you are one step closer to preventing the time consuming task of reestablishing your credit and your good name after your identity has been stolen.

Proactive Identity Theft Prevention

  • Shred financial documents and paperwork with personal information before discarding
  • Protect your Social Security number by not carrying your Social Security card with you or writing it on a check. Give it out only if absolutely necessary or ask to use another identifier.
  • Don't give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you know who you are dealing with.
  • Never click on links sent in unsolicited emails; instead, type in a web address you know. Use firewalls, anti-spy ware, and anti-virus software to protect your home computer; keep them up-to-date. Visit for more information.
  • Don't use an obvious password like your birth date, your mother's maiden name, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
  • Keep your personal information in a secure place at home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help, or are having work done in your house.

Go to Defend Against Identity Theft to learn more about the steps you should take if you become the victim of identity theft.


Identity theft prevention techniques take just seconds to implement and can save you a lot of time and money in the end. Learn more about identity theft and how to deter, detect, and defend against it, visit

Or request copies of ID theft resources and identity theft prevention tips by writing to:

Consumer Response Center
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, H-130
Washington, DC 20580

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