Protecting your identity from theft is necessary because nobody can afford to lose his/her identity that too on the cost of his lifetime earned goodwill and money. If you are aware enough to protect your identity before it is stolen, then you can probably reduce the risk of losing your precious information to the identity thief. You need to know where and to whom you are sharing your information because it is the beginning where most of the people forget to pay attention. Next, you should observe where your information is stored or disposed of, if it is not the secure place to store your information, you should think twice before doing that. You can easily maintain the security of your computers and other electronic devices in order to protect your identity.
Not only online, but offline information also needs to be secured. The offline information includes your financial documents, bills, records and some other papers that carry necessary information which you might keep openly at your home. Even the workers at your home may turn out to be identity thieves as they know the details of your house and the places where important documents are kept generally. Do not leave your valuable stuff like papers, bills etc. openly at home because your home workers may have an eye on it.
Well, it becomes difficult to fix identity monitors at home but a little cautiousness can help you to become safe of this threat. You can also limit the stuff you carry along with you and take only the necessary identity proofs debit and credit cards that will prevent identity theft while travelling. Any kind of shared receipts, credit applications, medical statements or credit cards shall not be displayed in your house because a house worker or any visitor can turn into a thief. You also need to make sure who gets to know your personal or financial information and along with this, you need to encrypt your data while you log out of any browser.
Another type of identity theft that grabs our attention is the data breach which occurs when any unauthorised person nor organisation uses or views your personal information. The basic reasons behind data breaches could be computer failures, criminal activity or accidents. The identity thieves can obtain your information even by going through your trash cans outside your house, so it is important to destroy all documents if they are of no use to you.
Breach of data may also occur due to lost or stolen wallet that carries your credit cards, driver’s license, other bank receipts etc. Even your personal computers are not safe because your information can be stolen from it through malware or spyware. So, you can safeguard your identity by keeping your devices password protected and by changing your passwords regularly within every 6 months or 1 year. Additionally, by keeping a check on your credit reports and regularly reviewing your bank statements, you can prevent any such crime to take place.
Securing your Social Security Number
You can begin with asking few questions to yourself:
1. Who are these thieves and why do they need it?
2. How may it be misused against me?
3. How can I protect it?
4. What happens if I don’t share the SSN wherever needed?
Sometimes it becomes necessary to share your number and other details because a business or facility will not be provided to you, unless you share your Social Security Number. So, you need to keep a further check on your credentials and other SSN usages along with keeping a track on messages and emails regarding any use of your SSN.