Did you know that identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the United States?
Everyday, the Sandy Springs Police Department gets reports of ID Theft. Most of the victims have no idea how their information was obtained and many of them don't know how to protect themselves.
There is no 100 percent fool-proof way to protect yourself, but there are some ways to reduce the chance of becoming a victim.
The first thing you should do is to take a free 10 question test from Kiplinger's at HTTP://content.kiplinger.com/quiz/identity_theft/index.html.
The test gives you a good indication on how up-to-date you are about ID Theft.
I would then do a Credit Freeze. This low cost prevention method locks your credit so that if your private information is obtained, it makes it harder for credit to be opened using that information. You can find out more about a credit freeze at; www.clarkhoward.com or by going to the sites at Trans-Union, Equifax or Experian.
Make sure your computer has up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Make sure your Windows or Mac software is updated. Lastly, you should be using a firewall. Use complicated passwords and change them often.
Be very careful about who you give your Social Security number to and never carry your Social Security card with you.
Keep your wallet or purse in a safe place at all times.
These are just a few suggestions. Much more detailed information can be viewed on the attached, "Identity Theft Prevention Toolkit," put out by the International Association of Chief's of Police.
Officer Larry Jacobs is the Crime Prevention Officer for the Sandy Springs Police Department. He can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org