Crime Prevention Tips

INTERNET SAFETY TIPS

We are living in an age where computers and the Internet are part of our daily lives. Many school age children are experienced computer and Internet users. The Internet is truly a wonderful thing. Never before has there been so much information at out fingertips. With a few clicks of the mouse, we can gather information on just about any topic imaginable and we can communicate with people all over the world.  Unfortunately, the Internet can sometimes be a dangerous part of our world for kids. There are web sites and chat rooms that are certainly inappropriate for kids. There are also criminals who use the Internet to gain access to children. By utilizing good common sense and being an active participant in your child’s computer usage, you can greatly minimize the risks associated with the Internet.

  • Keep the computer in a family area of your home and not in your child’s bedroom.
  • Know what sites your child is visiting on the Internet.
  • Make “surfing the web” a family activity.
  • Instruct your child not to give his/her identifying information over the Net.
  • When your child is e-mailing or participating in a chat room make sure you and your child know who is on the other end of the computer. It is very easy for people with bad intentions to misrepresent who they are and how old they on the Internet. You probably wouldn’t let your child talk to a stranger on the telephone so the same should apply to the Internet.
  • Have a frank discussion with your child about some of the dangers that can be associated with the Internet.
  • Set reasonable limits on the amount of time that your child spends on the computer.

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM IDENTITY THEFTAn image of a portion of a computer keyboard with a blue key marked "Safety"

The crime of identity theft occurs when someone uses your identifying information, without your consent, and uses that information for any unlawful purpose. Identifying information is defined as: any document, photographic, pictorial or computer image of another person, or any fact used to establish identity, including, but not limited to, a name, birth date, Social Security number, driver’s license number, non-driver governmental identification number, telephone number, checking account number, savings account number, student identification number, employee or payroll number or electronic signature.

In order to protect ourselves against identity theft we have to know how thieves steal identifying information.

  • Steal your mail from mailbox
  • Rummage through your trash
  • Steal wallet/purse
  • Stealing your identifying information from your home
  • Stealing your credit card number or bank card number when the card is “swiped” for a legitimate transaction at a business
  • Calling and posing as a legitimate company and claiming that you have a problem with your account
  • Employees who steal records or information while at work
  • Bribing an employee who has access to your records

What do thieves do once they steal your identifying information?

  • Call your credit card company and change the billing address so you don’t know they are using your credit card account
  • Open a new credit card account in your name
  • Establish a cell phone account in your name
  • Open a bank account in your name and write bad checks from the account
  • Buy a car and/or obtain a loan in your name
  • Obtain a fake ID with your information
  • Forge your stolen checks and case them

Identity theft crime prevention tips:

  • Don’t leave mail lying in your mailbox. Don’t use your mailbox for your outgoing mail.
  • In your home, keep your credit cards, bankcards, checkbook and your social security cards in a secure location. Don’t leave them in the open.
  • Don’t carry more cards and other identifying information than you need
  • Never leave your wallet/purse or checkbook in your car
  • Keep a list of the telephone numbers for your cards so if you lose one you can cancel the card immediately
  • Keep track of your expenditures-carefully look at your bill
  • Use a shredder to dispose of your bills and other financial records that you no longer need
  • At restaurants pay cash. Don’t use a credit card or bank card
  • Do not provide too much identifying information on your checks
  • Be wary of giving out information on the phone
  • If you believe that someone has stolen your identifying information, call the police immediately
  • Monitor your credit report periodically. You can obtain a FREE credit report from:

FREE ANNUAL CREDIT REPORT
ANNUAL CREDIT REPORT REQUEST SERVICE
P.O. BOX 105283
ATLANTA, GA 30348-5283
1-877-322-8228
www.annualcreditreport.com