Smart, responsible women everywhere want nothing more than to have successful relationships, raise well-adjusted children, enjoy thriving careers, and take pride in their personal achievements. But, dear Chicas, identity theft can turn even the happiest of lives upside down in an instant, and the threat is very real: according to Federal Trade Commission data, more than 275,000 identity theft complaints were logged between January and December 2009.*
Identity theft can occur in a number of ways from the tried and true methods—stealing one’s mail or rummaging through garbage bins—to more sophisticated means, such as “skimming” credit card numbers and gathering information through Internet phishing scams.
Follow these tips to prevent becoming a victim of identity theft:
- Shred documents that leave you vulnerable: credit card offers, old bank statements, unused checks, and any other documents that contain sensitive information.
- Check your credit report from the three primary credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax) at least once every year. Visit www.freecreditreport.com.
- Never give up personal information to unsolicited or unknown callers.
- Prevent unauthorized access to your accounts by guarding personal passwords and PIN
numbers. Memorize your passwords and make them challenging enough so that they
cannot easily be guessed (avoid using birthdays, middle names, your children’s names,
etc.) It is best to create a password that makes combined use of letters, numbers, and
- Go green! Have bank and credit card statements delivered to your email inbox instead of
via snail mail. Review statements each month and report suspicious account activity to
your lender, bank, or credit card company immediately.
- Protect your computer from hackers. The digital age has ushered in a new kind of identity
thief: the online predator. To protect your email and computer from phishing, spyware,
and other harmful malware that pose a threat to your identity, ChicaLogic recommends
the award-winning spam filter technology from SPAMfighter. Sign up for a free 30-day
trial of SPAMfighter PRO and enjoy the following benefits:
Protection against phishing, identity theft, and other email fraud
Free automatic updates
Protection of all email accounts on your PC
Unique language and image filtering tools
Unlimited blacklist/whitelist entries
…and much more!
Visit www.SPAMfighter.com for more information.
To learn more about protecting your identity, visit the Federal Trade Commission’sIdentify Theft Site.
*Source: Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book for January-December 2009, Federal Trade
Commission, February 2010.