Cyber-Safety Series -- Identity Theft

image by Adam Smith, Flickr.comimage by Adam Smith,
It’s every Internet user’s worst fear – to wake up one day find that someone has found your personal information, drained your online account, and ruined your credit rating. Identity theft is surprisingly common –the FTC estimates that up to 9 million Americans may be victims of identity theft each year. You don't have to be one of them!

Here are some simple ways to prevent identity theft:

1. Practice social network safety. – You may be sharing more personal data than you know. Check out this blog post for more information.

2. Be a skeptic. – When in doubt, it’s better to play it safe. This Lifehacker article provides some excellent suggestions for avoiding the most prevalent online scams.
For more on scams, take a look at There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute, which explains many online and offline cons, along with steps to protect yourself.

3. Make security a habit. – Safe Internet practices should be a part of everything you do online. This article provides some great suggestions for securing your online life from all angles.
USA Today’s book, Stopping Identity theft: 10 Easy Steps to Security, has more tips on everyday security practices.

4. Destroy! Destroy! – Make sure you know the right way to get rid of old credit cards and sensitive paperwork.

If identity theft strikes – you have resources! Take a look at The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Recovering From Identity Theft and Identity Theft For Dummies for suggestions on getting your life back.

For more information on identity theft and your options, check out The Federal Trade Commission’s identity theft website, with more information and resources on identity theft prevention and response.


We all need to be safe online.

Good tips!