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Identity Care and Protection

Whether you are hired or promoted for a job may depend on the information revealed in a background check. For some jobs, screening is required by federal or state law. The current emphasis on security and safety has dramatically increased the number of employment background checks conducted.

If you are applying for an apartment or are a Landlord, background and credit checks may determine if the application for leasing will be accepted. Whether you are an individual or a business, knowing the information that is being reported is important. Many errors are made every day in credit information, so you want to make sure yours is always correct and up to date. Direct Screening offers affordable and comprehensive criminal background checks for personal, tenant, and employment screening. These results are returned online instantly.

Be Proactive - Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Identity thieves rob more than 500,000 Americans every year. These steps will help you reduce your risk of identity theft. the following are ten ways you can protect yourself from being one of them.

Guard Your Social Security number
The most important step is to guard your Social Security number -- it is the key to your credit report and banking accounts and is the prime target of criminals. Do not print your Social Security number on your checks. After applying for a loan, credit card, rental or anything else that requires a credit report, request that your Social Security number on the application be truncated or completely obliterated and your original credit report be shredded before your eyes or returned to you once a decision has been made. A lender or rental manager needs to retain only your name and credit score to justify a decision.

Monitor your credit report
Credit reports can alert you to activity in your financial records. A monitoring service, such as Privacy Guard, will notify you whenever someone applies for credit in your name or checks your credit history. You then can be proactive; call the person and ask, "Why are you checking my credit?" It might be a landlord or employer; it might be legitimate.

Now you can check your credit report online.
Look over your report carefully and make sure to correct any errors you find

Buy a shredder and use it
Identity thieves may use your garbage to obtain personal information. Shred all old bank and credit statements, as well as "junk mail" credit-card offers, before trashing them. Use a crosscut shredder -- they cost more than regular shredders but are superior.

Remove your name from marketing lists
The three credit-reporting bureaus -- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion -- all maintain marketing lists that may contain your information. Contact these agencies to remove your name from the lists. You also should add your name to the name-deletion lists of the Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service and Telephone Preference Service used by banks and other marketers. Removing your name from these lists reduces the number of pre-approved credit offers you receive.  Read the fine print on your bank and credit applications. Many of these forms will tell you that they will share your information with their partners. Have you ever received a telemarketing phone call telling you that because you purchased something with your MasterCard from XYZ Bank, or last four digits of 1234, that they have a special offer for you? Where do you think they got this information? From your bank or credit card company. Although they are legally restricted from giving out your complete financial information, they are selling your name and spending habits, obviously your phone number and address and your spending habits. You must demand in writing
for them to stop selling your information. Some financial institutions will cancel your account or threaten to do so if you make this demand, as this is an income generator for them. Search and find companies who respect your privacy and you will have one more reason to sleep better at night.

Watch what you carry in your wallet
Do not keep your Social Security card in your wallet or carry extra credit cards or other important identity documents except when needed. These documents can give thieves ready access to your accounts. Too many people are guilty of carrying every credit card they own, their checkbook, debit card and many times their Social Security card just in case. One quick purse or wallet snatch, and within minutes the thief has access to your entire financial life. These thieves are prepared to take action immediately, long before you get over your shock and start making calls to your bank and creditors.

Keep duplicate records
Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Copy both sides of your license and credit cards so you have all the account numbers, expiration dates and phone numbers if your wallet or purse is stolen.

Mail payments from a safe location
Do not mail bill payments and checks from home. They can be stolen from your mailbox. Take them to the post office.

Monitor your Social Security activity
Order your Social Security Earnings and Benefits statement once a year to check for fraud. Go to:

Monitor your credit-card activity
Carefully examine your credit-card statements for fraudulent charges before paying them. If you don't need or use department-store or bank-issued credit cards, close the accounts.

Know who you are talking to
Never give your credit-card number or personal information over the phone unless you have initiated the call and trust that business.

"Reward Yourself for Having Excellent Credit"

Defend Your Reputation

Who you are online is as important as who you are offline. Naturally, professionals, parents, teachers, college applicants, graduate school applicants, job seekers, employers, and daters have raised serious and legitimate concerns about how to deal with this reality and with the ever-increasing amount of information about each of us on the Internet. Parents now need to take extra precautions to ensure their teenager's reputation and privacy
ReputationDefender - Click Here To Start  

The Internet can assist you in building value for your family future.
Hundreds of sites sell your personal contact, social security and financial information. There are ways to stop it. There are ways to monitor and manage your online reputation to build an asset for both your life and career. 

One such company is ReputationDefender, a worldwide leader in comprehensive identity management for the web. They have pioneered the most comprehensive product for managing the personal information of individuals on the Internet.





















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