Identity theft has existed for years, but new technology has increased the prevalence of this crime. Identity theft affects almost everyone – the young and the old as well as those who are dead. As the consequences of identity fraud are severe especially for your finances, you need to take precautions to reduce the effects of identity fraud. The most basic way of averting identity theft is to ensure that the thieves do not have access to your identity or personal information by destroying all paperwork containing any personal information such as birth date, address, debit card numbers, investment details, and so on. Another way of defending yourself from identity theft is to avoid revealing personal information and passwords over SMS. Banks will never ask for your security number and any phone call asking you for this information is likely to be for identity theft. In order to notice identity fraud as soon as possible you need to monitor your credit statements. This will assist you notice any discrepancy as soon as it occurs enabling you to notify the relevant authorities and deterring the theft of your identity. Even when you take precautions, there are risks of identity thieves obtaining your passwords. To avoid this, you should alter your security number frequently and never use the same security number for more than a single account. If your credit card is stolen, report this immediately to the credit card issuer as well as the police. This will ensure that the stolen debit card cannot be misused. When you shift your residence, ask the post office to forward all mail to your new office. This will ensure that mail containing sensitive personal information does not fall into the hands of identity fraudsters. While online purchases are convenient, they can lead to identity theft. To deter this make sure that you use only secure sites for online transactions. Since online transactions can easily be hacked, you need to install firewalls in your computer. This is important if you use your computer to make online transactions. Identity theft is here to stay and you need to take proper precautions to protect your finances and credit rating.
February 9, 2015