Despite the fact that the world seems to have entered a new security-conscious era, the opportunities for criminals to perpetrate certain crimes only seem to have increased.
One such crime is identity theft.
If you, or anyone you know, has had their identity stolen then you will know what a heinous crime it is.
The damage is severe, and the recovery process is extremely long.
HERES 11 TIPS WHICH MAY HELP YOU PREVENT IDENTITY THEFT –
- Do not give out any personal information either by telephone, in person or online unless there is a valid reason for requesting this information.
- Never give anyone your social security number, either online or by phone.
- Never put your credit card information on your personal checks. Simply write the last four digits on your check to reference the payment.
- When ordering personal checks, leave out your address. Additionally, only use the initials of your first name, along with your last name.
- Purchase a shredder for home use and always shred any and all mail that has your name on it.
- Check billing statements frequently. Ensure that every item was purchased by yourself.
- Report stolen cards to the issuing company immediately, in addition to contacting the police.
- You have the right to request credit reports free of charge on a yearly basis. This will enable you to determine if anyone has used your credit card for purchases.
- Make copies of both sides of your credit cards, and keep them secured in a safe place.
- When withdrawing money from ATMs, ensure that no one is behind you with a mobile phone or camera – they can easily take pictures of you punching in your PIN number.
- Change your PIN number every month. Do not write it down and carry it with you. Memorise it.
These tips to prevent identity theft are just the tip of the iceberg.
Every day, more and more hackers and scammers are finding ways to steal your identity.
I’m sure you know that it is important to safeguard your personal information at all times. This can be achieved via software and other third party services which can provide automated monitoring.