Protect your identity
Identity theft is a prevalent and severe risk of information use. You have to provide some of your information to many businesses or groups, including tax agencies, the University, online stores, and social networking sites. But the more you use your data, the greater the risk of its exposure. Although most people forunately don't have to deal with identity theft, it's a growing problem and there are resources available to help you if you become a victim.
Monitor your credit reports for signs of fraud or suspicious activity. The more often you monitor your credit reports, the sooner you can catch instances of identity theft or credit fraud.
Steps to take if you are affected by identity theft:
The credit agencies and the federal government will be able to help you if you have been affected by identity theft. Follow the steps below, and the recommendations of the Federal Trade Commission, to investigate, remediate, and guard against fraud.
- Contact one of the three major credit bureaus and request that a fraud alert be placed on your credit files. The bureau you contact is required to notify the other two about the alert.
1-888-397-3742 or online
P.O. Box 9701
Allen TX 75013-9701
1-888-766-0008 or online
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta GA 30374-0241
1-800-680-7289 or online
Fraud Assistance Division
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton CA 92834-6790
For additional protection, you may also contact a credit monitoring agency to request credit monitoring and restoration services.
- Taking Charge: What to do if your identity is stolen (Federal Trade Commission)
- Identity Theft Protection (Delaware Attorney General's Office)
- How to protect your personal information from identity theft (Federal Trade Commission)
- What to do after a data breach (Federal Trade Commission)
- Data Breaches (Privacy Rights Clearinghouse)
- Identity Theft Resource Center
- Protect Yourself from Cyber Scammers and Identity Thieves (U.S. Department of Education)