Identity theft is by far the fastest growing crime in America. As technology gets more sophisticated, so have the criminals. Millions of people are scammed out of their money every year by identity thieves. And the trend is not slowing down any. The following are five easy tips you can follow to prevent reduce the chances of identity theft happening to you. Keep in mind, sometimes identity theft is unavoidable as a result of our use of personal information to buy products and services almost on a daily basis. But you can definitely take steps to reduce the risk. By taking the steps below, you will certainly reduce your risk of having your identity stolen by a large amount.
1. Be wary of people lurking near you. These are people who like to always glance at what you are doing. Also, be wary of people who are close to you when working and cover your information that you enter into ATM machines and laptops. The place that I am always wary of is public libraries. Since it is such a huge space and all kinds of people allowed in, it is especially unsafe
2. Destroy all sensitive data, paper or digital. If it is a paper document, shred it until it is unrecognizable. If it is digital, thoroughly erase all information. If you are not giving it away or selling it, I recommend destroying the hard drive with a hammer. If you are giving away your computer or selling it, always use top of the line software to wipe your data completely. Experts recommend going over your data twice to make sure nothing is left on.
3. Always protect your digital devices (such as laptops and phones) with a password. Internet access is abundant and so you definitely do not want unwarranted access to your stuff. Speaking of which, also always protect your home network with a firewall and a password. People who pry on open networks can steal personal information on your system. On my mobile phone, I have a password to unlock the phone and another password to unlock my sensitive apps.
4. Have an alarm system at home and in your automobile. Criminals very rarely break into anything with an alarm because once it is set off, the chance of them being identified skyrockets. Additionally, alarm systems are really a hassle to disam and are usually not worth it for the criminal.
5. Make sure to enroll in a credit monitoring service such as TrueCredit. These services will alert you of any odd happenings on your credit report. It is also helpful to have fraud protection with your credit card issuer and checking account. They are very good at identifying unusual purchases and will alert you of such. Also be sure to get fraud protection on your credit cards if you do not have it already.
By using the tips I posted above, you can largely decrease the chance of having your identity stolen and your credit profile ruined. Remember, the biggest repercussion of a stolen identity is the lasting effect it has on your credit. So save yourself the hassle and protect yourself because it is a big hassle having to repair your credit profile after an identity theft. Use the tips above and it will greatly reduce your chances of having your credit ruined and your identity stolen.