Identity theft is a constantly growing, serious problem. Many people have been affected by it thus far, however there are ways to protect yourself from being a victim of it. In this article we will be presenting some of the actions which you can take in order to prevent identity theft from happening to you.
What is identity theft?
From time to time we hear a lot of different stuff regarding identity theft, but what is it really? Identity theft occurs when someone’s personal information is stolen and used for impersonation. Such perpetrators usually do this for financial gain and in order to obtain adequate insurance for medical access, but not only. Identity thieves have many ways in which they can steal your personal information; security breaches, hacking, stealing documents or mail, even dumpster diving, which is why you have to be extremely careful.
Ways to prevent identity theft
Despite this being a very serious problem which has seriously affected millions of people, preventing identity theft is indeed possible. You have to always be alert to voice phishing and spoofing - don’t open any attachments or links sent by someone you don’t recognize, since they might contain malware. Freeze your credit and only unfreeze it in the case where you want to open an account. This process is free and provides additional security, while preventing thieves from using your information in order to open any accounts. Read your documents and parcel packaging before throwing them out and if they contain any sensitive information, shed them. Don’t input your personal information where it’s not needed and be careful about who you share it with.
Identity theft precautions
Some identity theft precautions you can take include always using strong passwords and additional authentication steps in your accounts to ensure extra safety. Set alerts, so if someone logs into an account of yours, you will be notified immediately and can take action. Keep your Social Security card in a safe place, although preferably not at home, so thieves can’t get to it. Whenever someone asks for your Social Security number, ask them why it is needed and how it will be protected. Monitor your financial and medical statements in addition to frequently checking your credit reports. If you notice anything unusual, report it. Acting fast in these situations is very important.
Protect yourself by seeing where your face appears online
Report identity theft
If you have been a victim of identity theft, you have to report it to the appropriate federal department in your country of residence so you can receive the appropriate help which is needed in such situations. Freeze your bank account and cards so the thief won’t be able to extort any money. Read about your options and act accordingly.
Despite this being a very serious problem which could cause a lot of harm, everyone should take precautionary steps from being a victim of identity theft. Keep your personal information safe, so no one can access it illegally and use it in a way which will be harmful to you.