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Student Identity Theft

16 Sep

Hardly a day goes by where you can’t find a newspaper article, blog post, TV report or other media that deals with identity theft. Unfortunately, the majority of people believe that their chances of being impacted by identity theft are minimal given the sheer number of people in the United States and the world. Unfortunately, recent statistics have proven that identity theft impacts many more people that common knowledge might tell us. A staggering 9 million Americans are victims of identity theft per year, three percent of the United States’ total population. The rate of punishment for identity theft crimes is so low, the only viable alternative is to work hard to prevent the crime from happening in the first place.

A look at recent identity theft trends suggest that college students are said to be at the highest risk of identity theft. The following points are my recommendation for keeping yourself safe from identity theft. My research through government websites and other associations dealing with ID theft have allowed me to share only the most relevant information.

To Avoid and Prevent Identity Theft

1) Do not publicly display or share the following information:

a) Full Name

b) Address

c) Phone Number

d) Bank Account Number

e) Credit/Debit Card Number

f) Social Security Number

2) Destroy all junk mail having anything to do with financial information including:

a) Credit Card Offers

b) Offers For Checking Accounts

c) Anything else that could contain information about you

3) Monitor your credit report

a) Even though most college students have little or no credit, identity thieves love to prey on students because they can easily apply for credit

b) Check out this government website for details on when you can request a credit report

4) Be wary of people and companies that need your social security number to complete a purchase

a) Only give out the number if you absolutely need to

5) Memorize pin numbers and passwords

a) Never write this information down

6) Lock up all documents that contain sensitive personal information

a) Most dorm rooms have a drawer with hardware to fit a lock onto it

7) Never give out personal information online

a) Only provide information if you are making a purchase and only buy goods from reputable websites

If You Think You Are A Victim of Identity Theft

1) Act fast

a) The faster you move to fix the issue, the less damage the thief can cause

2) Visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website on identity theft

a) If your identity has been stolen and the information has been used by a thief

b) If your information may have been stolen, but may or may not have been used by and identity thief

c) To learn more about identity theft

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Posted by on September 16, 2008 in Security

 

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