Avoiding identity theft: a primer

Wednesday, 16 June 2004, 4:59 AM EST

Your identity is arguably your most valuable possession. A clean legal record and credit history open the door for work, mortgage loans and other day-to-day privileges that most people take for granted.

Stains on those records can take years to erase, but most people pay more attention to securing their car than protecting personal data. That's why identity theft last year struck 9.9 million Americans, costing businesses and individuals $53 billion, according to a survey commissioned by the Federal Trade Commission.

Identity thieves are a lot like car thieves, experts say: If they want your information badly enough, they'll probably get it. But taking a few simple precautions can make you a much less attractive target.

By David McGuire at The Register.

[ Read more ]

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