ID theft not just sweeps away your hard earned money, but it steals your name and goodwill. There is absolutely no means to guarantee that you would never be a dupe of identity theft, but there are a plenty of ways via which you can minimize your risk. By managing your personal data astutely and arming yourself with vital knowledge, you can certainly protect yourself and stop identity theft from happening to you. According to the US government it was found out that ID theft is the most staggeringly growing crime, affecting 1 out of every 23 US citizens yearly. Around 15 million American citizens have their identities utilized deceitfully annually with monetary losses grossing $50 billion approximately. In 2011, 11.1 million people in America turned victims of id theft at a sum cost of $54 billion-increased by 37% since the year 2007.
Listed below are some excellent ways to stop identity theft before it takes place:- Secure your Home and Office with Security Alarms and Locks:- Even though a simple set, the installation of security alarms and locks will dissuade criminals and thieves from breaking into your home or office. The installation of these safety measures will hinder id thieves from having an access to your personal and confidential information saved in your computer. The installation of deadbolts on the outer doors, security films, bars on the exposed windows and alarm systems that are monitored by a reputed security agency will impede the criminals from accessing your personal and important information. Shred Your Documents (electronic as well as paper):- All business records containing vital personal information and financial numbers must never be tossed in junk or trash without being shredded first. This averts” dumpster diving” and in the web world, the chances for hackers to bypass important information that has not been deleted permanently from email box or websites. In case the documents are discarded without shredding, a myriad of id thieves can access the information and details provided on financial statements or bills. Be cautious of e-mail links and attachments in both instant messages and e-mails:- Use vigilance even when the message or email seems to come from a safe sender, as identity details in emails/ messages can be bluffed easily. Supervise your Credit Closely:- Your credit report includes details regarding your credit accounts as well as bill paying history so you can be alarmed when someone is impersonating you without your knowledge and permission. Watch for doubtful signs such as bank accounts you did not open. You can also hire the services of identity protection companies that range from credit monitoring to database protection. Be Cautious of Shoulder- Surfers:- When entering your password, credit card number or pin in an ATM machine, computer at public places or phone booths, do look out who is nearby and ensure no one is peering over your shoulder in order to note down the keys you are pressing. Need Photo Id-Verification:- Another great method to stop identity theft from taking place is that instead of signing at the backs of the credit cards, you can write on them See Photo ID . In most cases, store clerks do not even take time to look at the sign block on the credit cards and a thief can easily make use of your credit card in order to make phone or online purchases that do not call for signature verification. However, for those rare instances where they do verify signatures, you may attain some additional security. Install Security Software:- Install anti spy ware, anti-virus and firewall software in your computer and keep it up to date as a security measure against online interruptions and intrusions. Protect Your SSN:- It is always recommended that you should not carry your SSN every time in your wallet with your driving license and other identification proofs. Apart from knowing your full SSN, even last 4-digits in a lot of cases can let an id stealer assume your identity. You must never use your SSN as any part of password and user name that you create and you must never disclose it in response to phishing scam emails. Guard Your PII (Personally Identifiable Information):- Be wary regarding providing your PII to anyone. Check out for what purpose the information is required, and if it is vitally important to give out. Be prudent regarding the information you give out about yourself online like on social networking websites.
Store sensitive and confidential records securely:- Just the way you keep sensitive and confidential paper records under lock and key, you must securely store sensitive online information. This can be achieved by using file encryption software. Awareness and vigilance are effective and efficient tools to counter and stop identity theft. Share security and id theft prevention tips you come across with your kin and friends.