The more purchases you make online, the greater your risk of having your identity stolen. However, you can protect yourself:
- Protect your passwords for critical accounts such as credit cards, banks, and cell phones. Do not use the same password for all your accounts and avoid using passwords that are easy to guess.
- Keep your personal information in a safe place.
- Never give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or online unless you initiated the contact or are sure you know with whom you are dealing.
- Never throw bills or credit card slips with personal information in the trash. Shred or rip into little pieces all mail that identifies you or your accounts.
- Read your credit card, bank, and phone statements carefully each month to spot transactions or calls that you did not make.
- Request a free copy of your credit report on an annual basis at www.annualcreditreport.com.