Recently, there had been plenty of news and stories circulated all over the country regarding Identity Theft. Many shared their real experiences on unauthorized usage of their credit accounts, bank accounts, and other services that involve money. At least 5 out of 100 people experience this kind of unwanted fraudulent activity.
Thieves will never be after your identity if they will not get any benefit from it. They need your name, birth date, address, etc. to open your financial accounts. One must bear in mind that these personal identification entries are important to validate an account. Thieves will do whatever way they can just to steal your identity and your money.
Your protection depends on you. In this kind of crime, nobody can help you immediately except yourself. The prevention and protection of Identity thieves depend on how wise you are in handling all important information about yourself.
Here are some things one must take heed in order to protect himself from Identity Theft:
1) One must keep a photocopy of all his credit cards, bank account numbers, and other important information in a safe place. In short, one must make a back-up record of all his personal information and personal numbers. Making back-up copies will help you trace and cancel your stolen or lost cards or whatsoever. One must also not forget that even a simple identification card or a driver/s license is very important and can also be a source of information that can be stolen.
2) Dispose your credit card receipts properly. Do not throw your receipts anywhere or it could be taken by thieves. Receipts contain information about yourself and your account. This information may help thieves to possibly steal your identity. Shredding your bills and receipts may not be practical at all. When a bill is shredded the paper is the only thing destroyed but the contents are not. It can be retrieved by pasting all shredded paper together. Instead of shredding the bills, on the best way to totally destroy your bills is by putting it to fire. There is no way one can retrieve information in the ashes.
3) Keep in touch with your credit institution. When applying for a credit card and does not arrive immediately to you, contact your credit institution, and relay the problem. By doing so, you can prevent any fraudulent activity that may happen.
4) Create a good combination of numbers for your PIN or passwords. Make sure that you choose difficult to guess the PIN. Birthdates, mother/s maiden name, pet/s name, usual or famous number combinations, etc should not be used for your PIN or passwords.
5) Regard all personal information personal. Do not give your personal information to anyone who emails you and a snail mail. Never give personal information over the phone. Adds on your email offering good promos must be ignored. Do not be tempted by their flowery offerings which the only intention is to steal personal information on you.
6) Secure the area surrounding the ATM before using it. Make sure that nobody is around you watching while making a transaction on the ATM. Make sure that there are no unusual equipment illegally attached to the ATM. There had been reports about electronic devices illegally attached to the card slot in the ATM. It has cameras on it which can record your PIN as you type it in.
7) Bills must be checked every month. All entries in the bill must be made under your permission. If there are charges included in the bill which you do not know, immediately report it to your credit institution and ask for an investigation.
8) Active and canceled checks must be stored properly. There are banks that offer services like this.
9) Keep all important documents in your car properly. Do not put anything which may contain information about your insight inside your car. You may use the glove box as a safe keep for your important things. Never leave it unlocked.
10) Secure all your personal information on your mobile phone and laptop with a password. Remember that laptops and mobile phones are personal gadgets that are to be used solely by you. So keep it personal.
What one takes is a sense of responsibility toward his belongings, personal properties, and identity to totally prevent these illegal activities. The value of your identity is equivalent to the value of your life.