in 2014, there are 13.1 Million people in US alone became as victims in identity theft.
How to Protect Your Identity?
Recently, there has been plenty of news and stories circulated all over the country regarding Identity Theft. Many shared their real experiences on unauthorized usage of their credit accounts, bank accounts and other services which involve money. At least 5 out of 100 people experience this kind of unwanted fraudulent activity.
Thieves will never be after your identity if they will not get any benefit from it. They need your name, birth date, address, etc. to open your financial accounts. One must bear in mind that these personal identification entries are important to validate an account. Thieves will do whatever way they can just to steal your identity and your money.
Your protection depends on you to protect your identity. In this kind of crime, nobody can help you immediately except yourself. The prevention and protection on Identity thieves depends on how wise you are in handling all important information about yourself.
Here are some things one must take heed in order to protect your Identity :
1) One must keep a photocopy of all his credit cards, bank account numbers and other important information in a safe place. In short, one must make a back-up record of all his personal information and personal numbers. Making back-up copies will help you trace and cancel your stolen or lost cards or whatsoever. One must also not forget that even a simple identification card or a driver’s license is very important and can also be a source of information that can be stolen.
2) Dispose your credit card receipts properly. Do not throw your receipts anywhere or it could be taken by thieves. Receipts contain information about yourself and your account. This information may help thieves to possible steal your identity. Shredding your bills and receipts may not be practical at all. When a bill is shredded the paper are the only thing destroyed but the contents are not. It can be retrieved by pasting all shredded paper together. Instead of shredding the bills, on best way to totally destroy your bills is by putting it to fire. There is no way one can retrieve information in the ashes.
3) Keep in touch with your credit institution. When applying for a credit card and does not arrive immediately to you, contact your credit institution and relay the problem. By doing so, you can prevent any fraudulent activity that may happen.
4) Create a good combination of numbers for your PIN or passwords. Make sure that you choose difficult to guess PIN. Birth dates, mother’s maiden name, pet’s name, usual or famous number combinations, etc should not be used for your PIN or passwords.
5) Regard all personal information personal. Do not give your personal information to anyone who sends you an email and a snail mail. Never give personal information over the phone. Adds on your email offering good promos must be ignored. Do not be tempted by their flowery offerings which only intention is to steal personal information on you.
6) Secure the area surrounding the ATM before using it. Make sure that nobody is around you watching while making transaction on the ATM. Make sure that there are no unusual equipment illegally attached to the ATM. There had been reports about electronic devices illegally attached to the card slot in the ATM. It has cameras on it which can record your PIN as you type it in.
7) Bills must be checked every month. All entries in the bill must be made under your permission. If there are charges included in the bill which you do not know, immediately report it to your credit institution and ask for an investigation.
8) Active and cancelled checks must be stored properly. There are banks that offer service like this.
9) Keep all important documents in your car properly. Do not put any thing which may contain information about you in sight inside your car. You may use the glove box as safety keep for your important things. Never leave it unlocked.
10) Secure all your personal information in your mobile phone and laptop with a password. Remember that laptops and mobile phones are personal gadgets that are to be used solely by you. So keep it personal.
What one takes is a sense of responsibility toward his belongings, personal properties and identity to totally prevent these illegal activities. The value of your identity is equivalent to the value of your life.
More Steps to Protect Your Identity:
1. Always give protection to your Social Security Number. Do not place your Social Security Number in your wallet or to be printed on your checks. It is the main object of criminals.
2. Be aware of shoulder-surfers. Make sure nobody is looking over your shoulder when you enter a pin number or a credit card number to an ATM machine, or in a phone book.
3. Everything must be shred. You should keep your identity from being thrown into the garbage can.
4. Instead of signing the backs of your credit cards, just write “See Photo ID”.
5. Be sure to destroy all digital data.
6. You should be diligent in checking statements. Bills and bank statements must be checked properly.
7. Go to the post office in paying your bills. Do not leave your paid bills in the mailbox to be sent out. They will be stolen and to be washed with chemicals.
Protect Your Identity over Thieves – Learn How to Protect Your Identity
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