If you want to prevent identity theft, your social security number should be protected first and foremost. If anyone steals your social security number they can get bank credit cards or take out loans in your name that will eventually affect your credit in a negative manner. If identity theft happens to you it will take a lot of time and effort to fix it so it is very important to keep your financial information as confidential as possible.
Since your social security number is connected to everything you do financially in your life you need to keep your number as safe as you can. Do not give your social security number out to just anyone. Do not carry your card with you in your wallet, memorize your number and keep your social security card in a fire-proof safe box in your home.
Check all your bills, if the company uses your social security number for your account number then ask them to change it, if they refuse to change it, then change companies if you can and do not do business with the other company at all anymore. Anyone can get their hands on your sensitive information if companies do not also guard their information closely.
I remember years ago someone had discovered that there was a financial company who was not guarding their clients financial information at all and were just throwing sensitive documents in the garbage and not shredding them like they were supposed to be doing. Several of their clients did have actually problems with identity theft social security number and this company was sued because of their neglectful ways.
Take heed and protect yourself from identity theft by getting your mail from your mail box as soon as you can, do not let it sit there all day. Identity thieves will try to get your mail before you do to get a hold of your information. Any information they can find like bank information, medical bills, insurance forms, etc, that they can get your name or bank credit card numbers off of can be used to steal your identity.
Find out how to opt out of bank credit card and loan offers or even refinance offers if you own your house. If you do get these offers then make sure to shred them before tossing them out. Also, put several pieces of the things you shred into separate garbage bags. thieves will go so far as to go through your garbage and if they find something they will put the pages back together like a puzzle to get your information. There are no limits to how far an identity thief will go to. Do the same thing with old bank credit cards you no longer use and choose to cut up.
When making purchases or opening accounts on the internet make sure you use strong passwords that are not easily guessable. Do not use your birthday or anything else that is common knowledge about yourself. Do use a long password that has actually a good mix of letters and numbers and mix in some lower and upper case letters. Just make sure that you can remember it yourself. When learning how to prevent identity theft social security number protection is paramount.