Madison, WI,
10:33 AM

Five questions to Test Your Identity Fraud Prevention Smarts

Providing information online – and in writing – makes life better in so many ways. Faster service. Quicker answers. Less running around to get what we need. But the more personal data we share, the closer we need to watch where it's going.

According to 2014 research, someone becomes the victim of identity theft every two seconds.

To lessen your chance of becoming one of those ‘someones,' we offer this simple five-question quiz to get you thinking about often-disregarded advice.

1) True or False: Keeping your Social Security card in your wallet is convenient – and a great way to protect your personal number.

2) For protecting an online account, which password is the strongest option?

B. 2015
C. 3Dogz$$!
D. hotdog

3) Preventing medical identity theft can be as easy as:

A. Looking over bills closely
B. Regularly checking medical documents
C. Reviewing pharmaceutical records often
D. Eating an apple a day
E. Everything but the apple

4) Which credit card behavior is best avoided?

A. Keep expired credit cards for use as ice scrapers.
B. When traveling, use credit cards rather than debit cards.
C. Run debit purchases as credit when possible.
D. Carefully review monthly credit card statements.

5) True or False: Shredding personal documents before putting them in the trash is unnecessary. Just be sure you're mixing the papers with the nastiest garbage.


1) False. Wallets are easy targets for pickpockets. Safes and safe deposit boxes are much better choices for storing your Social Security card. (If your card is in your pocket, we won't make you admit it – just promise us you'll move it somewhere safe.)2) C. Strong passwords include symbols, numbers and a mix of upper- and lower-case letters. (If you're still using the names of pets or children, please update your codes now.)3) E. Eating an apple a day may keep the doctor away, but identity fraud is a whole different story. Scrutinizing your medical records for discrepancies can help prevent significant financial headaches.4) A. To keep them from getting in the wrong hands, cut up expired cards as well as cards you no longer use – then dispose of the pieces. (As for the most effective ice-scraping device, we'd recommend an ice scraper.)5) False. Shred all documents containing your personal information. Garbage may be gross, but when it comes to stealing data, criminals are willing to dig where it's dirty.

For more help preventing ID theft, check out our risk assessment calculator and talk to your American Family agent about Identity Theft Coverage.