It is estimated that 900,000 Americans become victims of ID theft each year, and this number is growing. Don’t forget, students are targets too. The US Federal Trade Commission recommends following the 3D approach: Deter, Detect, & Defend. Deter identity thieves by safeguarding your personal information. Keep personal information in a secure place and shred personal documents you no longer need, don’t carry your social security card in your wallet or purse, don’t give personal information over the phone, never click on links sent in unsolicited emails, and don’t use obvious passwords like your birthday. Detect suspicious activity by routinely monitoring your financial accounts and billing statements. This includes checking your credit report on an annual basis, if not more often. Defend against identity theft as soon as you suspect a problem. Contact the Federal Trade Commission or the UM Police Department for information on how to proceed. Awareness is among the most powerful tools in the fight against identity theft. Further information on identity theft and crime prevention is available at www.miami.edu/police, or through the UM Police Crime Prevention Unit at (305) 284-1105.