Identity theft is a problem that has been growing more and more organized each year. In this day and age of technology, it is almost too easy for some criminals to access our information. In fact, the FTC says that identity theft was the number one fraud complaint in 2008. What does identity fraud entail, and how can we protect ourselves from it?
Identity thefts are criminals who get a hold of your information and use against you. They may steal credit card payments and other outgoing mail from your mailbox curbside. Legally, they can dig through your trash once you set it on the curb in search of private information. From canceled checks to bank statements and pre-approved credit card offers, be careful of which documents you are throwing away. Shredding these documents is the safest way to prevent this method of identity theft.
They are also able to hack into computers and steal your information and other data. Another method is to file a change of address in the victim’s name and divert mail and other personal or financial information. Fortunately, you can prevent identity theft if you remain diligent with your information.
Always be careful of when and how you give your Social Security number. It is confidential information that you need to secure as often as possible. Also, keep any bank statements and other financial data.
Online shopping is something that many people do, and so it is important to stay secure in the cyber world as well as the reality. Commit all online passwords to memory, but also make sure that they are sophisticated enough so that no thief can easily guess them. When you are inputting your pin number into for your debit card at the store, or at the ATM, be careful to put it in in such a way where others cannot see. Whenever you shop online, make sure that you only use secure websites (with ‘https’ in the address) and do not save any personal or financial information on a public computer.
One great way to protect yourself from identity thieves is to shred old documents and paperwork with your personal, financial, or business information. It is a much safer option than simply throwing it in the trash, open to any chance of theft. Take advantage of a paper shredding service Washington DC or your local area to get rid of this necessary paperwork so that it does not fall into the wrong hands.