It seems like identity theft is the latest phrase on everyone’s lips. Have you heard the murmurs too? Do you know what identity theft is? Do you know how to prevent identity theft?
Actually, Identity theft happens when someone compromises your confidential data such as social security number, driver’s license number, credit card number or other financial details etc. further, he or she uses it to commit fraud for his or her own benefits.
Identity theft is the fastest rising white-collar crime in the world. It occurs when someone gets some pieces of your personal information. Then they use this information about you to steal your money or commit fraud. The identity thief disguises himself as you. The money trail leads back to you…and it is a mess to clear up. Therefore, you should learn how to prevent identity theft from occurring.
This criminal can get your personal information from a variety of different sources: your mailbox, your home or even at the dump. They could swipe your wallet or purse, or even trick you to provide them with information.
The sad part is that identity theft can happen without you even being aware of it. Depending upon how the criminal operates, you may not even know it’s happened until suddenly your credit card is rejected at a store, or perhaps you apply for a loan and get knocked back because of your terrible credit record, which as far as you’re aware should be spotless.
Once the theft has already occurred, it’s too late to stop the consequences. First you have to prove that your identity was stolen in the first place, which isn’t always easy. Then you have to deal with the results, which can include numerous unauthorized debts and transactions, a ruined credit card and more. Obviously, the sensible thing to do is to try and prevent identity theft occurring in the first place – prevention is a lot easier.
So what can you do to make it much harder for your personal information to be stolen? Here are a few suggestions: –
if you have strangers in your home, whether they’re roommates, trades people or other workers, keep your personal information locked away
don’t leave your mail to be collected in your mailbox – drop it off at a post office collection box or a post office
always empty your mailbox as quickly as possible after a delivery. If that’s difficult, make other arrangements such as redirecting all your mail to a post office box shred anything private that you don’t use for accounting purposes. It can be credit requests, bill receipts, prescriptions, insurance applications etc.
it’s better to vary the documents you provide in the process of verification for different purposes. For instance, you should give driver license’s number and social security number for one purpose and birth date and social security number for another. This way, all your information can’t be gained from a single source, which makes it difficult for hackers.
always check that your personal information will be secure before handing it over to any business, such as a doctor’s office
be extra careful on the internet, particularly if you are applying online for a loan, credit card or insurance policy
think about payment alternatives for online purchases, such as PayPal, so that you don’t have to use your credit card. Or use a debit card with a low balance
never give out your personal information over the phone, email or internet, unless you are the one who has initiated the conversation
promotions can sound really great but ask if they have a number you can call them back on before you give any personal information and check the credentials of the company before ringing them back. Also use an identity theft software to protect yourself from identity theft.
These are some ways to prevent identity theft. Some companies are now offering identity theft insurance, but it’s worth being a little wary of these policies. Read all the fine print to determine what exactly is covered, and what assistance the insurance company will give you if you’re the victim of identity fraud. Most of these policies are very limited, although that may change in the future.
When it comes to identity theft, common sense is your best protection. Remember that your personal information is highly valuable and treat it that way. Always make sure you understand exactly why someone needs access to that information, and that they’re reputable and have information security processes in place. It may not stop you from suffering identity theft, but at least your risk will be lowered.
Author Bio: – Chandra Shekhar Choudhary is working at Systweak Blogs, as an SEO analyst and technical Content Writer. His potential of writing is PC tips, Android and Mac tricks and he is anxious in writing other technical blogs. You can also find Chandra Shekhar on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Author Name – Chandra Shekhar Choudhary