As an identity theft and security expert, I’ve been teaching people for over 20 years all about how to prevent becoming a victim of identity theft. Here is a condensed version of how you can make sure you never become a victim if identity theft. Or rather, what you CAN do to become a victim of identity theft: Let’s look at it that way!
Want to be a victim of identity theft? Keep reading.
- Peruse the World Wide Web-with a computer void of protective software (anti-virus, anti-spyware) or firewall activation.
- Forego digital encryption so that anyone on your street can gain your hard drive’s contents.
- Open attachments sent from people you’ve never heard of or you think you might know. This includes strangers promising fast ways to lose 50 pounds, miracle herbs, cheap medications, former classmates, ex-lovers, etc.
- Do personal banking on a public computer.
- Cram your wallet with vital personal information: SS card, PINs, passwords, credit and debit cards, address, etc. If it’s lost and retrieved by the wrong hands, you’re sunk. It may not even be lost; a family member could get ahold of it and use your credit card.
- Click on links in e-mails because the message is telling you to click on the link. Don’t consider that the message is a scam and the link will take you to a malicious site requesting personal information. At the site, give out the requested information, including you SS number, credit card number or sensitive workplace information.
- Assume that out of millions of people with e-mail addresses, that barrister from Nigeria singled you and only you out to be the beneficiary of a huge sum of money in exchange for aiding them out a little.
- Have your bank send you a new supply of checks by snail mail so that crooks could raid them from your mailbox. And don’t forget to keep your mailbox unlocked.
- Do nothing to stop all the preapproved credit card offers that fill up your mailbox; don’t contact the companies to opt out of this junk mail.
Do you do any of the above? If so, even one of the above, you are putting yourself at risk for becoming a victim of identity theft!