Identity theft prevention is very important to protect yourself from identity theft. Identity theft is the method of stealing and using someone else’s identity for fraudulent purposes which usually includes financial gain. The thief steals the identity of the victim by stealing his/her personal information.
The most distressing fact related to identity theft is that the crime is very easy to commit, but resolving it, is very tricky and difficult. That’s why it is advised to prevent something negative from happening than resolving it. Don’t be the next victim.
Have a look at the following case:
This man might have never thought that losing some of his documents could cost $300,000 to him which included $100,000 credit card debt and $200,000 home loan! An identity thief named David stole his personal information (social security number, financial information, etc.) and applied for loan and credit cards. If the victim would have taken precautions, he might not have suffered from this horrifying incident.
Always take the following precautions for preventing identity theft:
• Never open unknown text or emails, instead delete them. If you receive an email from the IRS, it is fake. The IRS never sends emails.
• Secure all the documents that you send over the internet by passwords. Always use strong passwords which are difficult to guess. A strong password should be at least eight characters which should be a combination of small alphabets, capital alphabets, numbers, and symbols. Don’t use the same password for each and every account and update them regularly.
• Install an anti-virus on your system and safeguard your network with a firewall. Never use public networks for online transaction. Always clear your ids and passwords from all websites.
• Shred all the documents having your personal information which includes bank statements, debit card receipts, credit card applications, bills, etc.
• Safeguard your Social Security Number (SSN) to ensure social security number protection. Never carry your SSN card with you in public places. Share your SSN only when it is required.
• Never ignore a notice from the IRS.
• Always cover the keypad when typing your PIN or password in an ATM or a computer.
• Keep a track of your bank accounts regularly and if required freeze your credit. Credit protection is very important. Notify the credit card company in case you lose your credit card.
• Store your personal information safely, be it a soft copy or a hard copy.
• It is advised to use a credit card instead of a debit/ATM card for online transactions.
• Collect your mails as soon as possible and always lock your mailbox. Contact your postal service to hold your mail if you are away from home for a few days.
Spread awareness about identity theft to your friends and family, be it online identity theft or offline identity theft. If each and every one teach others about identity theft, we can reduce this crime.