How to Prevent Identity Theft

Preventing identity theft depends on staying vigilant.

Most retail transactions require the exchange of personal information. From credit cards numbers and ATM PINs, to home addresses and more, shoppers pass along important and sensitive information with every swipe and purchase. And despite retailers’ best efforts, protecting this information is becoming increasingly more difficult because identity thieves are always lurking and looking for a free ride.

Last year alone, over 11 million Americans fell victim to identity theft. That’s almost one identity every three seconds. Good news is, even in the face of facts like these, there are ways to stay vigilant and on top of constant threats from identity criminals.

Shopping in stores

Be aware of surroundings and protect personal space at the ATM and registers.

Never carry a Social Security card unnecessarily.

Keep credit cards in sight to limit the opportunity for credit card skimming.

Avoid leaving receipts behind and providing a paper trail for someone else to follow.

Shopping online

Shop only with reputable parties and businesses.

Be sure anti-virus software is installed properly and up-to-date.

Avoid online links and visit shopping sites by directly typing in the website address.