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Limit Your Online Profile Information.

No matter the website, social networking, dating, or a personal homepage, do not share too much personal information. Stranger’s can use information such as your full name, where you work, the name of your school, or even your school mascot to identify you. Parents, monitor your teens’ online profiles and educate them on the dangers of sharing too much online.

Call-in Suspicious Activity.

Your instincts are usually correct. If something doesn’t seem right in your neighborhood or your school, it probably isn’t. Reporting suspicious activities might help the Sheriff’s Office identify a suspect or a crime trend. For activities in progress, call 911. 

Reconsider Placing Outgoing Mail in Your Home Mailbox.

Take it to a drop box or the post office. Identity thieves often cruise neighborhoods looking for incoming and outgoing mail in mailboxes. Checks can be “washed” and used to steal your identity or money. Also, when ordering new checks, have them delivered to your financial institution. 

Your Stuff May Not Always Be Safe in Your Driveway or Garage.

All too often, deputies respond to homes in nice, quiet residential areas where items have been stolen from an unlocked car or an open garage. It only takes seconds to access these areas and steal valuables: bikes, golf clubs, laptops and iPods. Most of these opportunity crimes can be prevented by keeping garages closed and cars locked. And if you leave your keys in your car — even in your own driveway or garage — you could easily lose your car too. 

Refrain From Storing Any Valuables Under Your Vehicle’s Seat.

It’s always a good idea to conceal valuables you may have in your car. But there are criminals who target areas like fitness centers and shopping centers, watching from the parking lot as people take pains to hide their belongings in the car before going inside. If you can, keep valuables in the trunk or take them with you when you leave your vehicle. 

Lock the Doors and Windows, Even When You’re Home.

Burglars don’t often think strategically about how to access your home; they often take the path of least resistance. If your doors or windows are unlocked and they can easily get inside, they will. If they can’t, they’ll move on to another house. Burglars don’t like well lit areas and motion detector lights. And remember, if a locked car in your driveway has your home’s garage door opener in it, burglars are just one step away from entering. 

Limit Divulging Your Account Information.

Do not give your credit card or bank information to anyone contacting you via e-mail or phone. Your own bank or card company will never contact you and ask you to provide account information. Once a year, run a credit check to be sure you haven’t become the victim of an identity thief.

 

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