With the New Year come lots of new challenges for millions of people.
One such challenge is making sure they do not become the next victims of identity theft.
Given identity theft complaints grew nationwide in recent times, it should not come as a major surprise that this remains a real problem, a problem that could be casting its eyes in your direction.
With all you have to do in your daily life, it can be rather easy to become complacent, leaving the door open for identity theft thieves to cause havoc in your life.
So, are you the next identity theft victim?
Tips for Shutting the Door on Identity Theft
In order for you to lower the odds that identity theft will creep into your life, remember these tips:
- Having an identity theft protection plan – For starters, having protection against identity theft is something you should not overlook. An identity protection service will monitor various financial and technological aspects of your life, alerting you to any dangers that might be lurking. Different providers have various levels of plans available, each offering specific protection controls. When you have the right people monitoring your financial and computer movements, you can rest assure that criminals will have a difficult time tapping into your life;
- Leaving a trail of receipts – Just about everyone has done this at some point in their adult lives. You go out to eat and decide to put the meal on your credit card. Instead of taking the receipt home with you, it is left on the table or you roll it up and throw it in a public garbage can. Even though typically only the last four digits of your credit card or on the receipt, that is four numbers too http://www.thebaynet.com/articles/1116/protectyourselfoncybermonday.html many for a thief to get their hands on. If your signature is also on the receipt, they can make a copy of it. You’re best off taking your receipts and keeping them at home where you can find them. Once your credit statement comes and you’ve noticed no discrepancies in the charges, shred the receipts in your garbage. While you may not think that an innocent little receipt can cause much trouble, you’d be surprised how much of a problem it can be if it falls into the wrong hands.
Is Your Computer Going to Come Back to Haunt You?
- Computer activities can be traced – With millions of people spending ample time on their computers each and every day, cyber-criminals are no dummies. They know that the possibility of finding out valuable personal information is just a click away. As such, you could be setting yourself up for financial loss etc. Whether you’re online shopping during the busy holiday season or some irrelevant day in the summertime, make sure you work off of secure sites and servers. Always be cognizant of the sites you are on, having a secure computer, and not giving out personal information such as a Social Security number etc. In the event your kids use your computer, remind them over and over again not to talk to strangers online. Not only could their personal safety be at risk, but they could also be setting you up for trouble in giving out your home address, where you work or bank at etc. As helpful as computers are in today’s digital age, don’t think you are immune from becoming the next identity theft victim because you don’t have lots of money or you lead a boring life;
- Be wary of certain requests – With tax season just around the corner, numerous scams come into play. One such scam is the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) supposedly wanting money from you via telephone. If you don’t pay up, you will reportedly suffer financial consequences. For starters, the IRS does things by mail. Secondly, that “threatening” call you get from someone allegedly with the IRS could be coming from India etc. Never give out any personal information that could be used to harm your financial well-being. Instead, report such calls to authorities.
So that you do not become the next identity theft victim, make personal protection a priority in your life.