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Kip Tips

How to Protect Your Identity

We recently featured a slide show on with six steps to help you protect your identity. All the tips are great, but I wanted to provide you with more from a story I wrote several years ago -- all are still relevant today.

  • Women, don't hang your purse on the back of a chair in a public place.
  • Men, do put a rubber band around your wallet -- the friction makes it more difficult to pull from a pocket.
  • Do sign your credit cards. Messages such as "See photo ID" don't work because it's easier for thieves to come up with a fake ID with your name on it than it is to forge your signature.
  • Do check your credit record at least annually to check for bogus entries or errors. You are entitled to a free report from each of the three credit bureaus once a year through
Get more of my tips on how to protect your identity -- and what to do if you're a victim. Also see Your ID-Theft Prevention Kit and take our quiz to see if your identity is at risk.