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Usually, a company will only ask for the last four digits of your SSN, so if someone asks for your full number, you should be wary. Identity thieves have no problem dumpster-diving for your personal info.

How You Can Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft and Fraud With These Top 10 Tips

Any mail you get with private information, like a bank account or credit card statement, should be ripped up or, better yet, shredded. Be aware of credit card skimming. Always keep an eye on your card, or pay with cash when you can. You never know where skimmers are hiding!

Identity Theft | USAGov

Consider identity theft insurance. Contact your American Family Insurance agent and talk about how you can add identity theft coverage to your homeowners or renters policy for an affordable price.

Don't let ID theft ruin your financial life

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Make copies of important documents

Department of Justice. There are a few different kinds of identity theft, including synthetic identity theft and child identity theft. If you have a credit card, your information is likely out in the world thanks to frequent data breaches. Freezing your credit with all three major reporting bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — restricts access to your records so new credit files cannot be opened unless you unfreeze your account. Locking your credit is an easier alternative, but you may have less legal protection than with a freeze.

Credit monitoring services offered by the three main credit bureaus are similar, but they often fall short on protections — especially if the credit bureau itself suffers a data breach.

Identity theft: 10 steps to recover if your identity is stolen

Your Social Security number is a master key to your personal data. Guard it as best you can. When you are asked for your number, ask why it is needed and how it will be protected. Securely store or shred paperwork containing your Social Security number. Random combinations of letters, numbers and special characters, different for each account, work best.

Would you give any of that information to a caller asking the right questions?

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ProPublica found many people are willing to trade that kind of information for a free cookie. If you do recognize the sender, consider navigating to the website directly rather than using an email link. Use strong passwords. You need passwords that are long over 10 characters , strong use upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols , and that has nothing to do with your personal information like name, age, birthdate, pet.

Equifax Data Breach

Password managers and two-factor authentication 2FA are also both best practices for password management. Monitor your credit scores.

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  • 1. Freeze or lock your credit;
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By law you have the right to three free credit reports per year; from Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. These three credit bureaus work together through a website called AnnualCreditReport.

10 Ways to Avoid Identity Theft While Traveling

Go to the Web site. Through this highly secure site, you can instantly see and print your credit report.

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  6. Call toll-free: Request by mail. Box , Atlanta, GA Get more details. Note: Remember that after you request a report, you will have to wait a year to get it free of charge again from the same credit reporting company.

    go site Of course, you can pay for a copy of your credit report at any time. Review your credit score. Look to see if there are new credit cards, loans or other transactions on your account that you are not aware of. If there are, take immediate steps to have these terminated and investigated. Freeze your credit.