Tips: Protect yourself from identity theft – Idaho Press

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Posted: Monday, April 7, 2014 12:02 am

Tips: Protect yourself from identity theft

Idaho Press-Tribune staff
newsroom@idahopress.com

Idaho Press-Tribune

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NAMPA — After a security breach affected millions of Target customers this past holiday season, identity theft has been at the forefront of many consumers’ minds.

Becoming a victim of identity theft can be unnerving. Here are some tips from the Federal Trade Commission to protect yourself and what to do if you do become a victim.

For more information, go to consumer.ftc.gov.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF

1. Keep paper documents in a safe, locked place at home. Lock up your wallet, keys and purse at work. Only take the debit and credit cards you need with you along with your identification card. Leave your social security card at home in a safe place.

2. Shred documents like credit card offers, credit applications, receipts, bank statements and expired credit cards.

3. Remove mail from your mailbox as soon as possible and put a vacation hold on your mail before you leave town. Opt out of prescreened credit offers that come by mail.

4. Don’t give out your personal information to anyone online or over the phone unless you initiated contact or know who you’re dealing with.

5. When disposing of an unwanted computer use a wipe utility program to overwrite the entire hard drive. Permanently delete information off an unwanted mobile device before discarding it.

6. Don’t overshare on social media.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE A VICTIM

1. Ask one of the three credit monitoring companies to put a fraud alert on your credit report: Equifax 1-800-525-6285, Experian 1-888-397-3742 or TransUnion 1-800-680-7289

2. Get a free copy of your credit report and look for unauthorized charges or accounts.

3. Create an identity theft report through the Federal Trade Commission. Go to www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/, which will walk you through the process. This will get fraudulent information removed from your credit report and stop a company from collecting debts.

4. Keep track of every phone call, letter and document you receive during the process. Keep track of deadlines associated with the process.

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Monday, April 7, 2014 12:02 am.


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