Criminals go through the garbage to gather financial and other sensitive documents.
Shred sensitive documents before throwing away.
Criminals retrieve personal information through break-ins or by stealing mail.
Lock your mail box and secure sensitive documents at home.
Personal information in the home is accessed and then stolen by relatives, friends, or care givers.
Carefully store and password protect sensitive documents.
Criminals covertly record credit or debit card information and passwords using a "skimming" device.
Avoid unsupervised ATM locations and do not hand over your debit card to a server or anyone else who could have a hand-held skimming device out of sight.
A business, credit card service, or institution (bank, hospital, university) suffer a database breach, exposing clients' personal information.
Share only information necessary for you to conduct business.
A point-of-sale system used to process customers' credit and debit card transactions becomes infected with malicious software ("malware"). The malware then collects and transmits customers' financial information undetected.
Monitor financial account activity for unusual activity or charges.
Dishonest employees gain access to and then steal the personal information of clients and members (loan agencies, hospitals, etc.).
Monitor account activity for unusual activity or charges.
Criminals utilize the vulnerabilities of unsecured WiFi hotspots or Bluetooth devices and access victims' devices.
Avoid making purchases, paying bills, or sending sensitive information over unsecured WiFi networks (at airports, coffee shops, or hotels).

Disable Bluetooth connections when not in use.
Criminals infect a victim's computer with malicious programs, such as a Trojan horse, keylogger, virus, spyware that are then used to collect information or commit fraud.
Install and update antivirus, anti-malware, and security programs on all computers, tablets, and smart-phones.

Use unique hard-to-guess passwords that include a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
Criminals trawl social media web sites in order to find personal information often used as personal identifiers. These include date of birth, mothers' maiden name, high school, or address.
Don't disclose information commonly used to verify your identity on social network sites. This information includes date of birth, city of birth, mother's maiden name, and name of high school.
Criminals send phishing emails pretending to be trusted service providers (banks, the IRS), and trick victims into sending them private financial information.
If you receive un-solicited requests for personal information in email or over the phone, ignore them.