Criminals are always looking for ways to steal your identity. Here are some simple "Dos and Don'ts" to help protect yourself.

DON'T give out personal information, (name, address, social security number), to anyone you don't know or for any purpose you don't fully understand.

DO store personal records, credit and cards, new and cancelled checks, in a secure and safe place, where they cannot be accessed by others.

DON'T sign initiatives or other petitions unless you are fully knowledgeable about them, and the signature gatherer. Your name and address may become easily accessible, and could even be illegally sold for profit!

DO shred any documents containing personal or financial information before discarding, such as credit card or petition solicitations.

DON'T leave your outgoing mail unguarded at your home mailbox where it can be stolen and your identity, address and financial information revealed.

DO place your mail only in U.S. Postal Services mailboxes

DON'T trust phone solicitations, or give out personal or financial information over the phone.

DO carefully protect PIN numbers and passwords; never share them.

DON'T open unsolicited emails, or emails from unknown sources; and if you do so mistakenly, never reply, forward, or open attachments.

Remember, the best thing to do is to refuse to provide your name, address, or other information to anyone!

Paid for by Californians Against Identity Theft.