Identity theft has been the fastest growing crime all over the world with over 27 million American citizens becoming victims of identity theft. It is actually a crime which involves the unauthorized use of your personal information like the use of your name, address, birth date, credit card, bank account passwords etc. It involves the thief accessing your credit card or bank account. The offender might also use your personal history by stealing your wallet, purse or mail. Therefore it is important to be careful and take proper steps to safeguard your information. Some of the tips to prevent identity theft are:
1. Protect your passport, social security number and bank cards
It is extremely unsafe to carry passport, social security number and bank cards in your purse or wallet. It is advisable not to carry these cards while travelling. These details should be necessarily kept in a safe and locked place. You can carry credit cards and debit cards only if you need it and are planning to utilize them. But make sure that all these cards are well secured.
2. Avoid giving personal information over the telephone
Never give your personal information over the phone, mail or on the internet. If person at the other end asks you about last four digits of your social security number or small details of your account number then you can tell them that you will call them back through their corporate number or tell them directly that you do not give your personal information on the phone.
3. Paper shredding
Paper shredding is one of the most important steps that can be taken to prevent identity theft. It is always advised to do paper shredding for the documents containing your personal information such as your social security number, legal information, account or bank information, passwords, addresses, phone numbers, medical bills and email addresses to keep the information from getting into wrong hands. The best solution to this is to get a paper shredder which can protect your identity.
4. Secure yourself while using internet
It is best to always use new versions of anti-virus in your computer. It is important to protect your mails. There are many scammers who send you emails asking you about your personal and banking details. The email might look like it has come from the bank or any other financial institution but it is used by scammers to trick you. Many people send such emails to steal your information. Never click the links of emails that are sent by unknown people. It is important to protect your personal details from such unknown people.
5. Do not use easy passwords
It is always best to use passwords that are difficult to guess. Do not use obvious passwords like your date of birth or your name. Be sure nobody is watching you while you are typing your password. It is important to secure your password.