How to protect yourself from identity theft


January 26  

Identity theft has been increasing at an alarming rate across the world. In simple words, an Identity theft is basically an individual stealing your personal identification. Your personal information could be stolen to access your bank accounts, passports and driving licenses without you being aware of it. There are certain cautionary measures that one can take to minimize the risk of a thief deceitfully accessing your accounts, charging your credit card and taking advantage of your clean record.

protect yourself from id theft

Take care of your important documents

Prior to discarding any piece of paper or document, it is advisable to re-check that it does not consist of any valuable information that can be misused. Millions of people become victims to an identity theft by carelessly discarding personal documents and statements. For security purposes, personal documents must be shredded in a shredder rather than plainly throwing it in the trash. Important paperwork should not be disposed of in a public place. Rather, disposing of it at home is more trustworthy. Thieves usually gather information from credit card offers and bills that are left unattended in the mail box.

Keep an eye out for suspicious activity

Meticulously tracking your financial details will help against being a victim to an identity theft. The additional effort involved in protecting your bank accounts is worthy of credit.    Most banks notify the customer whenever there is a transaction that takes place either through the credit card or through the bank. Being watchful of any unusual transactions from your account can raise a red flag. A notice of change in personal details sent by the bank even though you have not advised your bank of any changes is also an indication of your accounts being meddled with.

Guard your passwords

As a rule, passwords, bank account numbers and personal information must not be saved in your cell phone. Do not write them down as well. Memorizing them is the safest option. Passwords to your banking accounts must be a combination of symbols, numbers and letters. Erasing data from the hard drive of an old computer that you wish to give away will guard you from an identity theft.

Phishing hazards

One of the famous online hazards that are prone to falling prey to an identity theft is through phishing. Phishing is an online method which uses websites and emails that are intended to steal personal information from an individual’s account. Fake e-mail messages are sent from a trusted source such as your bank, requesting for personal information. People fall prey to these tricks and end up becoming victims of an identity theft.

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