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Identity Theft Protection & Prevention For Students

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By Author: Denise Richardson
Total Articles: 223
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The 18 to 29 age group has the fastest growing rate of identity theft of any age range. Identity theft is the fastest growing type of fraud, making identity theft prevention suddenly seem a lot more important.

It's not exactly hard to figure out why- in today's digitalized society it has become commonplace to post personal information in public forums, such as online. This is especially common on websites such as MySpace or Facebook. People leave details such as their full name, birthday, phone numbers as well as other facts about their lives.
From there, it's pretty easy for a thief to amass this information and use it to steal their identity. Unless you want your life and your finances ruined, at least temporarily, it's important to engage in identity theft protection.

Students (and their parents) must make an effort to protect their identities. Forewarned is forearmed, and in this case it's what you don't know that can hurt you. Think you know how to protect yourself? Compare your personal identity theft prevention techniques against these dos and don'ts.

DO keep a close eye on all financial statements and inquire about anything unexpected, such as a spike in interest rate.

DON'T wait for the next month's statement if you didn't get a bill you expected- contact the institution immediately.

DO be watchful of people around you when using your credit cards- thieves can memorize and use the numbers.

DON'T use an ATM if anybody is lurking nearby.

DO delete all personal info and passwords on a shared computer.

DON'T throw out any personal documents without shredding them first.

DO make sure that all correspondence has your correct address and name on it.

DON'T leave your computer unprotected (virus and firewall) at any time.

DO monitor your credit reports and dispute all inaccuracies using only certified mail.

DON'T carry your social security number, passwords or PIN numbers with you.

DO remember that anything you post on the Internet is available for public viewing- prospective employers included.

DON'T fall for a phishing scam. Never give away personal info to someone who you do not know for a fact to be a legitimate representative of a reputable company.

DO change your passwords often.

DON'T use your kids', pets' or spouse's name for a password.

Likewise, avoid hobbies and hometowns as these are pretty easy for thieves to guess.

How did you do? It's important to remember that even if you take all the right steps, you are never completely safe. That is why it is so important to actually look at your credit report. A simple reporting error can cause your interest rates to rise. A surprising 1 in 4 credit reports have errors, so be on the lookout.

Getting your annual credit reports is free and easy! Just call this toll free automated number: 877-322-8228.

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