Almost everyone in Nebraska is aware of the dangers of identity theft, a rampant white- collar crime. But not everyone is protecting him or herself as well as could be. The time and effort involved in successfully defeating the effects of a theft of personally identifying information is significant. As such, more concerted efforts and the development of some simple habits that prevent identity theft may be the more effective choice.

Traditionally, theft of contents of a physical mailbox or curbside garbage was the concern. That reality still exists, despite the proliferation of more tech-savvy methods of ID theft. Minimizing this risk can be easy. For instance, the Lincoln Nebraska Police Department advises people to mail items through actual post office receptacles, rather than through their personal mailboxes at the end of the driveway, which advertises mail contents with the literal upright red flag. Also, people should get in the habit of retrieving their mail from their personal mailbox promptly and close in time to delivery each day. Further, investing in a personal shredding machine can help a family avoid tossing information-ridden mail and other documents in the garbage where a thief can steal it.

The State of Nebraska’s Protecting the Good Life also urges residents to be aware of when they should be receiving each credit card bill, so they will be alerted if one goes missing. They should also carefully review credit card bills each month, which will help to ensure no illicit purchases have been made and if one has occurred, allow them to timely dispute the bill and take measures against a future theft.

The crime of identity theft may not be going away any time soon. But with initiating good habits related to their documents and mail, people can start on the road to minimizing the chances of being the victim of this white crime of opportunity.