Protect yourself from identity theft

Identity theft is becoming more and more common in these times of Internet purchasing, sharing on social media sites and electronic communication.

You can protect your personal information with these steps offered by the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information Bureau.

Keeping your personal information secure offline

• Lock your financial documents and records in a safe place at home and lock your wallet or purse in a safe place at work. Keep your information secure from roommates or workers who come into your office.

• Limit what you carry. When you go out, take only the identification, credit and debit cards you need. Leave your Social Security card at home. Make a copy of your Medicare card and black out all but the last four digits on the copy. Carry the copy with you — unless you are going to use your card at the doctor’s office.

• Before you share information at your workplace, a business, your child’s school or a doctor’s office, ask why they need it, how they will safeguard it and the consequences of not sharing.

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This story was posted on April 30, 2015.