Protecting Yourself

While identity theft is rapidly on the rise, the steps to prevent it remain simple and very effective.


Have secure passwords, 10 characters or more in length, that include at least three (3) of the following character groups:

  • At least one upper case letter (A-Z).
  • At least one lower case letter (a-z).
  • At least one number (0-9).
  • At least one special character.
    Note – The following characters are allowed: ~ ! $ % ^ & ( ) _ = , . / ; [ ] ” < > { } \ |

Having at least one special character is STRONGLY recommended, when possible. Do not use more than two consecutive letters, numbers or your real name when creating your username and password.


Take sensitive outgoing mail directly to the post office. Get a lock for your post office box or mail box. Consider receiving payments and bank statements automatically online instead of in the mail.

Junk Mail and Paper Waste

Shred all documents that contain any personal information before you throw them away. Keep track of pay stubs or bank receipts.


Keep up with your bank accounts; reconcile monthly to determine if the information remains accurate. Make note of purchases and compare your account totals with the bank.


Make sure your operating system, web browser, and anti-virus software are kept up to date and working. Put passwords on any home networks and routers. Keep a firewall running. Secure all wireless routers and connections using WEP or better.