RealNews

Avoiding Identity Theft: A Primer

Your identity is arguably your most valuable possession. A clean legal record and credit history open the door for work, mortgage loans and other day-to-day privileges that most people take for granted. Stains on those records can take years to erase, but most people pay more attention to securing their car than protecting personal data. That’s why identity theft last year struck 9.9 million Americans, costing businesses and individuals $53 billion, according to a survey commissioned by the Federal Trade Commission. Identity thieves are a lot like car thieves, experts say: If they want your information badly enough, they’ll probably get it. But taking a few simple precautions can make you a much less attractive target. “Buy a Shredder: This is one of the easiest ways to guard against “Dumpster diving,” says Naomi Lefkovitz, an attorney for the FTC’s identity theft program. Identity thieves prowl public dumps and big trash bins looking for sensitive documents like credit card statements. Many of those papers contain all the information a thief needs to hijack your identity. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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