Everybody is at risk when it comes to identity theft. Details such as the following can be stolen:
- Social security number.
- Bank account details.
- Credit card details.
- Driver’s license and so on.
Once stolen, this information can be used by the thieves in multiple ways. So it does make sense to invest some time in adopting quick, simple and effective ways of preventing identity theft.
Read up on information
There are plenty of resources online and you can tap into some of them such as reading Lifelock reviews to find out about the different kinds of service providers out there. Think of it as insurance coverage and find the plan that suits you the most.
Lock up your papers
Invest in a good quality safe and use it to secure your papers. You should also follow the same practice when you are at work or if you are sharing living space with roommates. Also:
- Carry only essential copies when you travel. If you can memorize important information such as social security number – then do so.
- Shred all financial papers – credit card statements, bank statements, receipts and bills and so on.
- Be careful of how you dispose medicine bottles which have your details on the prescription labels.
- Clear your mailbox immediately.
- Follow up on overdue statements – they may have gone missing because someone has stolen them.
Privacy of passwords
Today’s online world makes it mandatory for you to have all kinds of passwords. You need them to use your debit cards, do your shopping, access your bank accounts, and make financial transactions and so on. Prevent misuse by:
- Creating strong and unique passwords for each area.
- Guarding your passwords ferociously – yes, ferociously.
- Ensuring that no one sees you inputting your PIN or passwords, especially when you are in a public place.
- Changing passwords frequently.
Everybody loves to use Facebook or other social networking sites to talk about what they are doing. But did you know that identity theft can happen because you over-shared on Twitter? It could be something as simple as using information that you have shared to answer ‘challenge’ questions that websites pose. So, if your bank account needs you to fill your place of birth as an authentication measure, the identity thief has this answer simply because you have mentioned it on a social site.
An identity thief is not always going to mug you and steal your wallet. He or she can also take the form of a legitimate sounding phone call or a beautifully worded email. Do not respond to emails or text messages or phone calls asking for information – even if these messages have your name or even a few digits of your card number thrown in.
So even though the person is stating that he or she is calling from your bank, refrain from giving information. Instead, go to your bank and find out what is going on. Government agencies and financial institutions, typically, do not call you for account related information.