Worried about identity theft? Following are
some practical tips from Mari Frank, a privacy consultant and
author of Safeguard Your Identity: Protect Yourself With a Personal
Privacy Audit (www.identitytheft.org).
Make confetti. Invest in a paper shredder. Use
it to destroy mail and old records that contain personal or
Be vague. Leave your home address and telephone
number off personal checks.
Watch your back. Be aware of who is standing
behind you at ATMs and when using phone cards. “Shoulder surfers”
can get your PIN number and access your accounts.
Protect mail. Don’t leave bills or envelopes
containing checks in your home mailbox for pick-up by your mail
carrier. Thieves can snatch them and, using an acid wash, erase the
name of the recipient on the check and change it to their own.
Beware card sharks. If a newly ordered credit
card or replacement doesn’t arrive promptly, call and ask when the
card was sent.