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A Good Way to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

by rubybadcoe

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These days, the fight against crime is no longer the sole province of law enforcement agencies. As a responsible citizen, you must also do your part in protecting yourself and your family. In addition, you should be aware of certain undesirable habits that leave room for possible identity theft crimes.

The Los Angeles Police Department reported around 10,000 identity theft cases in 2003. This crime has become so prevalent that it was upgraded from a misdemeanor to an alternate felony/misdemeanor crime in 1998. To protect yourself from identity theft, always keep the following tips in mind.

Don't carry documents or identification cards unless necessary. If you always go to work or run errands carrying a purse, be sure it's free from personal documents like your birth certificate and your passport. If you get mugged, the mugger can easily get a hold of these and use them to falsify your identity. Keep valuable personal documents in a secure place and take them with you only when necessary.

Control the mail you receive. Criminals can use promotional materials you receive through direct mail to sign up for credit cards under your name. However, it's not enough to chuck them into trash bins as those with criminal intentions can easily retrieve your discarded documents. If possible, opt for direct e-mail marketing methods instead and leave the task of destroying crucial documents to Los Angeles document shredding professionals.

Never leave credit card receipts and paychecks out in the open. Whether you're at home or at the office, always make sure your credit card receipts and paychecks are kept securely. After all, you can never absolutely tell whether a certain visitor has criminal intentions. To be on the safe side, ask your Los Angeles document shredding provider to pick up credit card receipts and salary slips for disposal when you no longer have need of them.

Finally, always protect your social security number. With this single piece of information, criminals can easily gain access to your bank accounts and wreak unimaginable havoc. If your checkbook contains your social security number, ask for a new one and let a Los Angeles document shredding professional get rid of the old one. For more information, visit

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