Identity thieves commit fraud by stealing your personal information. They use your information without your consent. They steal credit card payments, bank statements, and destroy your credit status. Some go as far as hacking into computers. It can definitely wreak your reputation and finances.
Identify theft is a growing problem worldwide. It can start with a stolen wallet, mail, or a computer virus. It can also start with discarded paper documents by you or a business. Victims of fraud need patience, money, and time to resolve it. Unfortunately, it can take months and sometimes, years to repair the damage. To protect yourself, follow these helpful tips:
Keep Your Social Security Number Private
Do not give out your social security number over the phone. Only give it out if it is an absolute must. Don’t let your number fall into the hands of the wrong person.
Use An Antivirus Program
Identity thieves have complex software to obtain your information. They can obtain it without your knowledge, by using keyloggers and spywares. They can gather as many sensitive data as possible. To protect yourself, purchase anti-virus or anti-spyware programs. They will provide most of the protection you need.
Be Careful What You Carry
Do not carry your passport, extra checks, or any other ID that you are not planning to use. If you have to carry your identification, place it in a secure bag. Also, only carry one credit card at a time. Carrying multiple cards can put you at a higher risk. Never carry your social security card unless it is necessary.
Freeze Your Credit
Put a freeze on your credit with the three credit agencies. This keeps thieves from opening new lines of credit in your name. It will also prevent them from viewing your credit.
Shred Your Documents
Shred your bills and other important documents before disposing. This includes documents with your credit card number, bank account number, or social security number. Also, shred any pre-approved offers. Keep in mind, identity thieves will do anything to get their hands on your data.
Secure Your Wallet Or Bag
Always wear your purse across your body. This prevent thieves from snatching it off your shoulder. Also, never leave your bag or wallet unattended. Keep them with you at all times. When you are at a restaurant, don’t let it hang on the chair. Place it on your lap or at your feet. If you are carrying a wallet, use a chain to attach to your body.
USA.gov. Tips For Preventing Identity Theft.
National Crime Prevention Council. Tips To Prevent Identity Theft.
Identity Theft Resource Center. Identity Theft Protection Tips.
Wikihow. 5 Ways to Prevent Identity Theft.
Federal Trade Commission. Consumer Information: Identity Theft.
Freelance Taxation. 10 Tips on Preventing Identify Theft.
Independent Traveler.com. 11 Ways To Prevent Identity Theft While Traveling.