How can I protect my identity?
June 10, 2008 4:07 PM   Subscribe

Greetings. I am a journalist writing a story about people who use the Internet to mess with other people. I am concerned that some of my subjects (they are volatile, vindicative people who can dig up SS#s) will be angry with the story when it appears, and will try to use the Internet to mess with me. Specifically, I'm concerned that they will attempt to steal my identity and destroy my credit rating. So: What credit protection or credit watch service do you recommend? What other precautions should I take?
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
You should probably ask professionals, here's one US resource from the FTC.

And here's one from the UK's Home Office

Although you won't be able to quote these methods as belonging to evil denizens of the internet, you'll probably get better advice from the experts.

This is the best recursive question I've ever seen.
Well, maybe not the best, but certainly excellent.

posted by tiamat at 4:22 PM on June 10, 2008


How about a nom de plume?
posted by gnutron at 4:25 PM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Seconding the suggestion to ask professionals rather than the internet.

Also, firsting the eponysterical quality of the question.
posted by dersins at 4:30 PM on June 10, 2008


What credit protection or credit watch service do you recommend?

Equifax 3-in-1.

Also, as a preventive "stop gap," place a fraud alert on your credit reports.
• Equifax (800) 525-6285
• Experian (888) 397-3742
• TransUnion (800) 680-7289
After 90 days be sure to "renew" the alerts.
posted by ericb at 4:32 PM on June 10, 2008


BTW -- previous MeFi threads regarding fraud alerts.
posted by ericb at 4:34 PM on June 10, 2008


Just freeze all three of your credit reports. You'll have to thaw them briefly any time you wish to apply for new credit, but it won't affect your existing credit and it will absolutely prevent any new lines of credit from being extended.

Clark Howard provides a comprehensive guide on how to freeze your credit
posted by Lokheed at 5:42 PM on June 10, 2008


2nding the credit freeze. Two of the three make it easy to thaw your credit and the third makes it a hassle, but I actually consider that a GOOD thing. How often do you really need to apply for credit anyway?
posted by cnc at 5:47 PM on June 10, 2008


Lifelock
posted by 6:1 at 6:48 PM on June 10, 2008


Wouldn't be so quick to recommend LifeLock:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/05/22/lifelock.flap.ap/
posted by Mikey-San at 8:15 PM on June 10, 2008


Thanks for the update. I had not seen it.
posted by 6:1 at 9:04 PM on June 10, 2008


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