Would you look at you as someone who does a good job of protecting their personal information?

While the answer one hopes is yes, the reality is too many consumers leave themselves exposed to I.D. theft. When they do, their financial worlds can come crashing down around them.

So, are you inviting identity theft into your world?

Know Where Your Shortcoming May Lie

If you’ve never given identity theft much thought before, is it time to do so?

In looking at how identity theft could come your way, remember these three keys:

1. Leaving key items out – Once of the easiest ways for thieves to strike is easy access to credit cards. As an example, you go out for a nice dinner and forget your card on the table when leaving. Now, don’t you think there is a good chance one could come by and scoop that card up, albeit with bad intentions in mind? Even if you come back later and get the card, there’s the possibility someone wrote down the numbers on the card. If they did, they now have access to your card info. While they may not use it for their own purchases, can’t you say with 100 percent certainty they will not? Now, if you had the LifeLock advantage plan or another such top one, you’d be much better off. Such protection means you get alerts to such acts going on. You also have protection if someone is trying to use your Social Security card and so many other things. So, for when you might make a mistake and leave pertinent info around, isn’t it good to have protection in place?

2. Not being careful online – If you’re someone who loves their online time, are you safe when on computers? Even if your primary computer time is due to work, you still need to be cautious. Unfortunately, some people do online banking and other personal activities at work. In doing so, can they be 100 percent sure their computer network is safe from identity theft thieves? Some businesses do not spend the time and money needed to protect their computers. As such, they can have exposure to criminals. Your best bet is to save the personal computer activities for when you are at home and not in the workplace.

3. Not shredding – Last, do you toss receipts and other financial items without shredding? If so, you can be inviting trouble sooner than later. With that being the case, it is best to make sure you shred all personal documents when no longer needing them. If you do not have a shredder at home, you can buy one or take your papers to a shredding business once a month. Even if it means cutting receipts and other important documents up with a scissors when done with, do it.

While you love having guests and events come into your life, the last thing you want to invite is identity theft.