Myth: Identity theft usually happens on the Internet.
Fact: Online methods accounted for only 11% of identity theft in 2009
Most identity theft happens offline. According to a 2009 study by Javelin Strategy and Research, stolen wallets and paperwork account for almost half (43%) of all identity theft.
Steps you can take to help prevent identity theft include:
- Keep sensitive paperwork in a locked storage device and never put checks in an unlocked mailbox.
- Shred sensitive paperwork when you no longer need it.
- Never leave your wallet, purse, mobile phone, or laptop unattended.
- Defend your computer with a firewall, antivirus, and antispyware software. Keep all software current (including your web browser) with automatic updating. Password-protect your wireless connection at home.
- Never share personal information that could be used to steal your identity.
- Create strong passwords that are hard to guess, and do not share them with others.