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How To Protect Your Online Identity

Watch more How to Maintain Internet Security & Privacy videos: Subscribe to Howcast's YouTube Channel - Protect your online identity with these helpful tips. Howcast uploads the highest quality how-to videos daily! Be sure to check out our playlists for guides that interest you: Subscribe to Howcast's other YouTube Channels: Howcast Health Channel - Howcast Video Games Channel - Howcast Tech Channel - Howcast Food Channel - Howcast Arts & Recreation Channel - Howcast Sports & Fitness Channel - Howcast Personal Care & Style Channel - Howcast empowers people with engaging, useful how-to information wherever, whenever they need to know how. Emphasizing high-quality instructional videos, Howcast brings you experts who provide accurate information in easy-to-follow tutorials on everything from makeup, hairstyling, nail art design, and soccer to parkour, skateboarding, dancing, kissing, and much, much more. Step 1: Understand identity theft Understand identity theft and how thieves can get a hold of your identity. Some of the ways to steal an identity include rummaging through your trash; skimming or stealing credit card numbers; and phishing, or when thieves pretend to be a legitimate company. Tip Before tossing documents that contain identifying information, consider shredding them. Step 2: Be careful online Be wary of online registration forms. Often sites allow you to "sign up" to receive emails. Make sure you read the terms carefully. If you believe that they do not need your personal information, do not fill out the form or consider creating a pseudo-name for yourself. Step 3: Beware of phish Watch out for phish. Phish refers to fraudulent e-mail or websites that look like the real thing. If you get e-mail from your bank, never click the link. Instead, go directly to the bank's site and do your banking from there. Tip When entering secure or personal information into an online form, look for a lock icon in your browser window. It's no guarantee that the site is secure, but if you do not see a lock, then chances are the site is not secure. Step 4: Check your accounts Check your credit and bank statements often, and get a credit report to ensure there are no fraudulent charges. Step 5: Contact the authorities Contact the authorities. File a police report, place fraud alerts on your credit accounts, close your compromised accounts, and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission if you believe you've been a victim of identity theft. Did You Know? Ten million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2008, a 22 percent increase from 2007.
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