Protecting your identity begins by reducing the number of places where your personal information can be found. Reducing the number of credit cards you have and only carrying the cards that you intend to use may help reduce your risk of becoming an identity theft victim. Follow these tips to reduce your risk:
- Consider placing a free credit freeze on your credit to block others, including identity thieves, from opening a new account or obtaining credit in your name.
- You can opt out of pre-screened credit offers for free online at OptOutPrescreen.com.
- Visit, Network Advertising Initiative, to opt out of major online tracking companies for free online.
- You may remove yourself from several mailing lists for up to five years by contacting the Direct Marketing Association, although a processing fee may apply for this service.
- If your bank provides your account information to third parties, you may ask to opt out of this practice or request they notify you in advance.
- If you receive an offer for a pre-approved credit card or loan but aren't interested, shred the application form.
- If you are not interested in receiving convenience checks from your credit card companies, request to be removed from the mailing list.
- Cutting up a credit card does not cancel the account. You must contact the credit card company. Check your credit report to review open accounts in your name.