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How Can I Prevent Identity Theft and How Can I Protect My Identity?

One of the most important things you can protect is your identity. This means making sure your personally identifying information like your social security number, driver's license number, bank account information, bank PIN numbers, computer passwords, and even your birth date are kept secret and secure. This way, there is less of a chance of someone finding this information and using it to pretend to be you or access your financial accounts.

There are several steps involved in preventing identity theft. One important step is to protect your personal information by adopting a strict policy on who has access to this information and why. Make sure you know who you are dealing with, and avoid giving out account information and your social security number in favor of less sensitive material when possible. Be prudent with your personal information, after all your identity is at stake.

Another important step in protecting your identity is learning how to keep your cards, documents, and passwords safe. Even when you are prudent about who you give your personal information to and why, identity thieves can often find this information without your consent by getting their hands on your personal documents, plastic cards, and passwords without you even knowing it.

Finally, because identity theft is not entirely preventable no matter how vigilant you are (although performing the first two steps to the best of your ability certainly puts you at a much lower risk for identity theft), it is important to monitor your financial accounts and credit information . This way, if someone does commit identity fraud using your identity, you will be able to minimize the damage and stop the process sooner.

Learn more about identity theft protection services

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Spyware has many ways of getting onto your computer, such as:

When you download programs - particularly freeware, or peer-to-peer sharing programs.

More covertly, spyware can install itself just by you visiting certain sites, by prompting you to download an application to see the site properly.

ActiveX controls. These pesky spyware makers will prompt you to install themselves while using your Internet browser