Never store personal information on a lap top or desk top computer. When discarding junk mail be sure to remove your name and address from the front of the mailings. Never provide your social security number or date of birth over the phone to an unknown and limit the number of online financial transactions that you process. Avoid signing petitions in public for strangers and of course never sign your name to a document that you have not thoroughly read and understand. If in doubt, contact an attorney immediately.
Be aware of your credit history
Its important to review your credit history on a regular basis. I recommend getting a copy of your credit report at least every six months. This is the best way to detect identity theft in time to do something about it. If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, don't delay..... act immediately. Make a police report and contact the financial institution and/or credit card company to advise of your fears. The best defense against identity theft is prevention and early reporting of the offense to the proper parties.
Additional resources provided by the author
For Illinois Residents wanting additional information to guard against identity theft, visit the Office of the Illinois Attorney General and the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State.