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Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft

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Identity theft can not only ruin your finances, it can also be emotionally draining as you try to rebuild.

If you're looking to protect yourself, here are some ways you can become more secure.

Keeping Your Personal Information Secure

The good news is that you can prevent some of your information getting out by taking a few precautions and home and at work.

Simplify your wallet

To keep others from snatching much of your personal information, slim down your wallet to the essentials that day.

If you want to keep one credit card in your wallet for emergencies, go ahead, but don't have all of your debit, credit, and/or store cards every day.

Ask questions.

Before you share information at your workplace, a business, your child's school, or a doctor's office, ask why they need it, how they will safeguard it, and the consequences of not sharing.

Securely store your information.

Go ahead and get a safe or a lock box to keep your sensitive information in. When at work, make sure your purse and wallet is in a secure place at all times.


Shred receipts, credit offers, credit applications, insurance forms, physician statements, checks, bank statements, expired charge cards, and similar documents when you don’t need them any longer.

Opt-out of credit card offers. 

Most times if you’re sent a pre-approved card, it’s a bad deal. Check out to submit a form to get out of the junk mail for 5 years. It’s quick and it’s free.

Protecting Your Personal Information Online

As with many things online, being through and cautious can help keep your information your own.

Thoughts on Preventing Identity Theft

While this tips don't cover every possible way an identity thief can snatch your information, it can hopefully be helpful with minimizing your chances of getting hit.

Do you have any other tips you'd like to add?

This article was originally published April 2016 and updated November 2018. 

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