Chapter 10 Digital Citizenship
Copyright Goodheart-Willcox Co., Inc.
Do not be fooled into a false sense of security when
communicating online. Be especially careful when you do not
know the person. Avoid opening e-mails that look suspicious. Use
common sense when deciding what personal details you share.
Be very careful when you share your address and Social Security
number. Resist the urge to share too much information.
Avoid Identity Theft
Identity theft is an illegal act that involves stealing someone’s
personal information and using it to commit theft or fraud. There are
many ways that your personal information can be stolen. A lost credit
card or driver’s license can provide thieves with the information they
need to steal a person’s identity. Criminals also steal physical mail.
This is often called dumpster diving. However, technology has made
identity theft through digital means the most common.
Figure 10-3. Following these tips can help protect you against being a victim of identity theft.
Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
• Be aware if someone is looking over your shoulder when you are using an ATM or making
• Don’t leave your receipt behind at the ATM. This could make you vulnerable to fraud.
• Never give your credit card number over the phone unless you initiated the call. Avoid
giving your card number out over a cordless phone. Radio scanners can eavesdrop on
conversations on cordless phones.
• Make certain you get your card back after you make a purchase. A good way to do this is to
leave your wallet open in your hand until you have the card back.
• Always keep a list of your credit cards, credit card numbers, and credit card company
numbers in case your card is lost or stolen.
• Shred bank and credit statements and credit card offers before throwing them away. Don’t
mail checks from your home mailbox. Drop them off at the post office. Also, have new checks
delivered to your bank, not your home.
• Obtain your credit reports and scores. Make sure you recognize all the account information
• Close out unused credit cards. Cutting them up is not enough.
• Avoid giving out your Social Security number. It is the prime target of identity thieves. Never
put your Social Security number on your checks or your credit receipts.
• Install a firewall and buy virus-protection software. If you dispose of a computer, remove data
with a disk wipe utility program.
• Don’t use the same password for all your accounts. Avoid using easily identifiable words or