Your personal information is valuable. Like other assets, it's important to safeguard it against thieves. Although your Social Security number may be your most vulnerable personal marker, other identifiers may give fraudsters the keys they need to unlock other accounts.

Limit your exposure

Traditional examples of your personal data include your name, address, phone number and mother's maiden name. However, criminals are increasingly using social media sites to gather information such as email addresses, cell phone numbers and previous employers.

Unfortunately, your children can also become a victim of identify theft. The Federal Trade Commission has noted a rise in this type of fraud. Children are ideal targets because they have clean credit histories and thieves can get away with the crime for years as parents rarely check kids' credit reports.

Protect yourself

Certainly, identity fraud can be a headache to resolve. One of the most important ways of preventing it is deterrence. Review our checklist PDF to find out how you can safeguard your personal information.