5 Ways to Avoid Identity Theft

 

Identity theft is a type of crime wherein someone will use other people's personal information without their personal consent for monetary gain. At least 1/7 residents in the US, ages 16 and above, became victims of these unlawful doings in the last couple of years. It becomes damaging when someone has acquired enough information to open a credit account using your name. You will start to incur bills that you are not aware of. Once the thief gets a hold of your SSN, this may result in taxpayer identity fraud. Here are some ways to avoid identity theft.

 

5 Effective Ways to Avoid Identity Theft

Acting quickly once you know that your private information has been leaked can minimize the damage of this criminal act. You need to be aware of some signs of this problem. Here are some ways to avoid identity theft.

 

1. Be Aware of the Information That You Give

 Ways to Avoid Identity Theft

Take a look at your social media profiles; consider how many people have access to your real name, name of the family members, and birth date. Ask yourself if you are willing to hand out that information to a stranger you just met. Be wary of the links included in the electronic mail. Before sharing personal information on a website, ask them about their sharing policy.

 

2. Monitor Your Finance Frequently

 

Think about asking for a credit report every fourth month of the year. It will allow you to examine any incorrect information or suspicious activity. Pay particular attention to the unexplained and significant change in your credit report. It would be best to make it a habit to monitor your bank and credit card statements. Identify all types of charges, no matter how small they are. Be aware of the due dates and inform the agency if you did not receive your bill.

 

3. Watch Your Mail

 Ways to Avoid Identity Theft

Your mails are one of the easiest ways to steal your identity. If you are traveling or no one is present in your house, consider temporarily holding your mail. You may also contact the postal service and ask for a lockable mailbox to protect yourself against identity theft. Do not just dispose of the mails carelessly, be sure to shred papers that contain your sensitive information.

 

4. Strengthen Your Pin and Password

 

Your personal information can be at risk if you do not protect your account with a strong password. Think about mixing it with small capital letters, adding numbers and special characters. For instance, you can use your name as your password but include special characters. Instead of using 'Alexis,' try writing it as @L3x1s(then add your birthdate). Avoid using public Wi-Fi since it will expose you to listeners. You should also turn off your Bluetooth when you are not using it. Regarding the PIN of your debit card, credit card or ATM, refrain from using a combination of numbers that are easy to guess, such as the last digits of your phone, Social Security Number, or birth dates.

 

5. Destroying Your Data

 Ways to Avoid Identity Theft

When throwing away your statements, checks, and receipts, make sure that you shred them, making it hard for the thief to extract your personal information. Concerning your digital data, you need to take extra precautions to ensure that all data are irrevocably and utterly destroyed. Reformatting or deleting the information on your hard drive will not be a solution. Try to find software or program that can destroy the data.

 

Regardless of how careful you are with your personal information, you can be at risk of these illegal doings. By following our ways to avoid identity theft, you can save yourself from unnecessary troubles and headaches.

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