Identity Theft

Useful tips for Preventing Identity Theft

What is identity theft?

Identity theft is defined as the fraudulent acquisition and use of a person's private identifying information, usually for financial gain.

Why should you be concerned?

The prevention of identity theft is important as without the essential protection you're essentially giving thieves access to steal key pieces of personal information and use it to impersonate you and commit crimes in your name. If you are a victim, you could end up spending many hours trying to clear your name and may suffer emotional distress throughout the process.

10 tips about being proactive on preventing identity theft :

1: Be sure to create smart passwords.

Creating different passwords for all of your different accounts on the internet is a key aspect in keeping you private, personal information secure, as it blocks thieves from gaining access to all of your accounts, even if they crack one of your many passwords. Also, be sure to have long passwords which contain several capitals and/or numbers. This would make it much harder for anybody trying to access your personal information to guess what your password might be, thus keeping your private-info safe.

2: Be very careful when sending out your personal information!

Whether it's on your phone, laptop, tablet, or any other device, always be cautious when sending out you personal information, as if your personal information falls into the wrong hands, people can use it to cause harm. In which, always read reviews, and do a little bit of research on whatever it is you're installing before-hand.

3: Only visit secure websites.

When surfing the Internet, be sure to only visit websites with HTTPS in the beginning of the URL, which is an abbreviation for secure hypertext transfer protocol. These websites are guaranteed to keep your information safe, and secure, not sending any of your information to any unauthorized third-parties.

4: Always check your credit history on a weekly basis!

Checking your credit history a couple times a week is a key aspect of ensuring your private information is being kept safe. This is because, you can check exactly what purchases have been made, as well as being able to check if anybody has gained access to your credit card information, and made any un-authorized purchases in your name.

5: Keep your technology-based belongings protected.

Any belongings along the line of Laptops, Tablets, and Smartphones should always be kept safe, and shouldn't be left unattended, as if somebody gets a hold of any, if could be rather easy for them to retrieve any private information of yours.

6: Tracking apps!

Simply installing a secure tracking app on your smartphone s a key aspect of preventing identity theft, as it gives you the ability to retrieve your smartphone if it's ever stolen. Without a tracking app, if somebody were to steal your phone, they would have access to most, if not all of your private information, able to and use it to impersonate you and commit crimes in your name.

7: Install Virus-detection software.

A virus scan is tool that notifies you when something unsavory manages to access your computer. The best thing about it is that it normally informs you before an issue becomes a catastrophe. In which, before any major harm gets done to your computer, the issue will be resolved, keeping your private information secure.

8: Don't respond to unsolicited requests for personal information.

Beware phishing scams. Phishing involves seemingly harmless emails being sent to you, asking you to verify certain things such as passwords, account numbers or credit/social security details. Any email seeking this sort of information should be an immediate red flag for you. The best response is to contact the service provider directly and ask what's up.

9: Shred everything.

One of the ways that would-be identity thieves acquire information is through “dumpster-diving. If you are throwing out bills and credit card statements, old credit card or ATM receipts, medical statements or even junk-mail solicitations for credit cards and mortgages, you may be leaving too much information laying about. Buy a personal shredder and shred all papers with PII (Personally identifiable information) before disposing of them.

10: Protect your purse or wallet

The best bags are those that can be zipped or closed shut. Try not to use bags that others can easily see or reach into, and keep bags close to your body with a tight grip at all times. Do not leave wallets or purses in the car, or if you must, do not leave them exposed or in an obvious place, as if they're attained by somebody else, they can cause harm in your name.
What Is Identity Theft?