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Identity theft affects close to 13 million people in the United States every year and authorities have said that currently it is “the fastest growing crime across the country”. What can you do to protect yourself?
Don’t leave belongings unattended. One of the most important steps in preventing identity theft is perhaps also the simplest – don’t leave belongings containing sensitive information, such as a laptop, a wallet, or a smartphone, unattended.
Lock your laptop. Using a laptop lock, which ties your laptop to a stationary item, like a desk, can be a good way to secure your computer. They are fairly cheap, usually costing less than $50.
Use password protection. Many people forget to password-protect their smartphones and tablets, even though the option is usually available. Make sure your passwords are not easy to guess, and change them periodically.
Delete your hard drive. If your laptop gets stolen, you can usually delete your hard drive with special software as soon as the thief accesses the Internet with your computer with remote access.
Leave unnecessary items out of your wallet. You probably do not need to carry more than one credit card and never carry your social security card or anything with your social security number on it unless its necessary.
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