Prevent Identity Theft by Protecting Your Information

Identity theft is something that can happen to anyone, even if you think that you will never suffer from identity theft. There isn't actually anything you can do to guarantee that you won't suffer from identity theft at some time in your life. What's more, the risk of identity theft is increasing every year and the crime is becoming more and more common.

Although you can't guarantee that you won't suffer from identity theft, there are some things that you can do to reduce the possibility of being a victim of this crime. Check out our tips for preventing identity theft.

Phone Calls

The first and most important tip is to be very careful about the information which you disclose to people over the phone. The phone can be quite dangerous because people aren't always who they say they are. Because you can't actually see the person it's not possible to correctly determine whether they are who they say they are.

A lot of cases of identity theft occurs because people disclose their personal details to people they are talking to on the phone. Someone might ask you for your social security number and you might tell them without giving it a second thought. People don't seem to realize that this is dangerous. It's much safer if you only give out your personal details to people you trust and meet face to face.

Shredding Your Documents

Another common way that people get hold of your details is through your garbage. It's very important that you shred or burn all of your private documents so that people can't use them. If you put any of your bills or statements into the trash then these can easily be retrieved by anyone who wants them.

Checking For Identity Theft

Checking For Identity Theft It's also important that you check for the signs of identity theft on a regular basis. This is made easier if you obtain a copy of your credit report. You can get up to three copies for free each year. Ideally you should apply for these and check your credit report every year for any obvious signs of identity theft. There are some services out there, that monitor the key indicators of identity theft for you. These services help prevent identity theft by protecting your valuable data and they can immediately alert you if anything suspicious happens to your credit score or your bank account.

Insurance

You might like to check with your insurance company to find out whether they can offer you identity theft insurance. This is normally quite cheap and can provide you with protection in case your identity is compromised. It can't prevent identity theft but does offer protection in case you lose money because of it.

Computer

Your computer might be trustworthy, however there are plenty of things which can compromise the security of it. It's very important that you understand how important these security holes could end up being. Your computer has access to all sorts of very personal information.

You must install virus scanners to make sure you protect yourself from these problems. There are lots of worms and viruses which can compromise the security of your computer and leave your personal information ripe for the picking.

Phishing

If you ever get an email claiming to be from your bank asking for your account number or security information then don't reply to it. This is one of the oldest tricks in the book and is used by thieves to get their hands on your personal details. Your bank will never contact you in this way to ask for this type of information. Beware, Phishing attacks are on the increase.

Identity

You might need to prove your identity when you go out. However, it's important that you only carry the identity that you really need. You shouldn't take your social security number card everywhere with you because someone could quite easily get the details.

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Fraud causes hundreds of millions of dollars in damage each year and affects just as many people.

Credit card fraud is the most common type of fraud to occur each year and cost its victims up to $500 million dollars in damages each year. Despite the frequent occurrence of this type of fraud, millions of credit card users are still unaware of how to protect themselves against this type of thievery.

No one is completely safe from being defrauded. But, by learning how to protect against fraud, you will be better equipped to prevent yourself from falling into a scam that could cost you everything. Taking the time to protect yourself can help to keep you safe.