When learning how to protect your identity, one of the first things you should do is to stop carrying your social security card with you, if you still do. A social security card is the single most dangerous form of ID to lose. It can make life for an identity thief much easier. Since most adults have their social security number memorized anyway, there really is no reason to carry it with you all the time.
In this article I will go over other simple things you can do on a daily basis to keep your identity safe and sound. Remember, you're not just doing it for you, you are doing it for all of us. Whenever someone steals an identity to make purchases, we all suffer. The credit card companies do not take those losses sitting down. Instead they pass those losses unto us by increasing fees and interest rates, one way or another, we all pay. For that reason we all need to step up and be careful with our personal information.
The next easiest, and most important, thing you can do to protect your identity is to buy a shredder and use it. It will only take a minute to run that old credit card statement through the shredder after you've made a payment. It's amazing how little information a thief needs to ruin your financial life. Why make it easy for them? Crosscut shredders are cheap, easy to use and a great way to keep yourself protected. Buy one and use it, religiously.
You do not need to carry all your credit cards with you every where you go. As a matter of fact, you should never carry your cards with you at all, unless you are going shopping. When you are going about your day to day routine, stop by the ATM, get a little cash and leave the cards at home. That way if you lose your wallet, or it gets stolen, the only thing you are out is a few bucks. With no social security card and no credit cards, you'll be making it a lot harder for the thieves if they do manage to get a hold of your wallet.
Believe me, I have known someone who had their identity stolen and it was not pretty. She spent months fighting to get everything straightened out and back to normal. The level of stress she was under was through the roof. I felt so bad for her but there really was nothing I could do to help except be her friend and let her vent about the whole situation from time to time. She did finally get everything back under control and now she uses one of those protection services to keep her information confidential.
Any one of those identity protection services is a good idea if you do not think you can learn how to protect your identity sufficiently by yourself. You've seen the commercial, the guy has his own personal social security number plastered all over the side of a truck for everyone to see and then says that they guarantee your information is safe with them. I think what they offer and guarantee is just a whole lot of peace of mind. check them out.