Are you completely protected from identity theft? Most likely not. Have you or someone you known fallen victim to identity theft? It doesn't take long for your identity to be stolen, but it takes months to recover from and often you can never fully recover from it. People 18-29 years old, especially college students, are most at risk of having their identity stolen. There are many ways to stop this from happening, but there are ways they can steal your identity that you can't always prevent. This is why it's always good to take precautions and check regularly to make sure there is no suspicious activity.
Ways to minimize your chances of having your identity stolen:
1) Do not use debit cards. Alternatives are to use the debit card as a credit card in which you give them your signature rather than you PIN or a better idea is to use credit cards.
2) Never Disclose SSN.
3) Don't provide bank account or credit info unless you made the call.
4) Check your monthly statements. Make sure there is no suspicious activity on your accounts, if there is you should call your bank or the credit card company immediately.
5) Minimize what's in you wallet. Never carry your SSN number with you.
6) Don't write down passwords and especially don't carry them in your wallet.
7) Shred all discarded paper that contains account numbers. People will go through your trash, make sure you SHRED all of your papers, not just throw them out.
8) Don't show personal info on webpages.
9) Monitor your credit. Everyone is entitled to a free annual credit report from Equifax, Transunion, and Experian at www.annualcreditreport.com. Go through your report and look for suspicious activity.
10) Destroy your hard drive, computers, printers, etc., don't sell them. All of these devices store the data and leave footprints that cannot be deleted even when you think you delete the files from your computer. Destroy by the DoD Standard - disintegrate, incinerate, pulverize, shred, or melt.