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ID Theft Protection Tips

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Taking charge of your ID theft protection is important. After all, your ID represents you, and should it fall into the wrong hands, someone else could be in control of your life. The sad fact is that everyone is at risk, even those who believe they are safe. Here are some tips to help you lower your risk of identity theft.

Protecting yourself from identity theft is largely a matter of guarding your personal information. Remember that when you are in public, any time you pull a card out of your wallet or announce account numbers, you are putting yourself at risk. Do not carry your Social Security card around with you and don't give the number out unless it is absolutely necessary. When you are using your ATM card, cover the keypad for protection against someone trying to pick up your PIN. Make sure to pick up your mail quickly. If you are going to be out of town, arrange for the post office to hold your mail or for a friend to pick it up.

To help protect yourself from computer-related ID theft, be sure to only perform transactions over sites that clearly use secure servers. Make sure that your passwords incorporate a mix of letters, numbers and special characters and do not give passwords or other information to those who solicit them over email, even if the sender looks familiar. If you are asked to visit a website by clicking a link in an email, it's safer to type the URL of the site directly into your web browser and see if the company really needs information from you that way. Most legitimate companies will never ask you to provide your password except to log in to their sites. Be careful about downloading unfamiliar software to your computer. It may contain spyware that steals critical information from your computer and transmits it to an outside source.

Despite your best efforts, your identity can still fall into the wrong hands. One of the more public ways this can happen is through a data breach. That is when the information that a company has about you becomes lost or stolen. Should this information wind up in the wrong hands, it could leave you vulnerable to identity theft.

PrivacyGuard works with you to help you keep your identity safe. With daily credit monitoring and proactive identity fraud surveillance, PrivacyGuard supplements your own protection efforts with a comprehensive suite of services, safety and support.* Best of all, you can try all of PrivacyGuard's protection right now. Sign up today, and experience comprehensive ID theft protection you can count on. See details.

*Your VantageScore credit score(s) are provided by VantageScore Solutions LLC. The VantageScore model, with scores ranging from 300 to 850, was developed jointly by the three major national credit reporting agencies - Experian®, TransUnion®, and Equifax®. The version of VantageScore provided here is used by some, but not all, lenders. Your score(s) may not be identical or similar to scores received directly from those agencies, from other sources, or from your lender.

*Your liability for unauthorized use of your credit, debit, and ATM cards is limited under federal law. In addition, your card issuer's liability policy may provide for lesser liability amounts that under federal law. Consult your card issuer's terms and conditions for specific details. The policy of many card issuers is not to hold cardholders liable.

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The federal Fair Credit Billing Act gives you the right to dispute billing errors, such as unauthorized charges, on your credit card by notifying your credit card company in writing within 60 days after the first bill containing the error was sent to you. The credit card company must resolve the dispute within two billing cycles (not to exceed 90 days) after receiving your notification. You may withhold payment on the disputed amount (and related charges) during the investigation. You must pay the amount not in dispute. You will be informed in writing whether your bill is correct or contains an error. If your bill contains an error, it will be corrected.

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