Identity theft is one of the most guarded criminal acts, yet also one of the most rampant. The terrifying thing about identity theft is that it can be done with or without the help of computers and the Internet (as proven by many cases before), and you may not even know until it is late that your identity has been stolen.
What are the ways your identity can be stolen and how can you take action to prevent this from happening?
- Through your social security details
Your social security details are important for your citizenship, taxes and other access pertaining to legal and government details. Identity thieves can use your social security details to their benefits or to plant malicious and criminal activities to your name. Keep your social security details secure at all times.
- Responding to suspicious/scam emails
You may sometimes receive emails phishing for your account details and it may seem legit. Avoid responding to these emails. Remember: anything pertaining to accounts and money, companies will call you and they will not ask for these private details over an email.
- “Shoulder surfers”
Shoulder surfers are those who look at your password on your online banking accounts or when you are using an ATM. Always cover the keypad with your hands especially when you are typing in your passwords.
- Through your mail
When you receive mail, pick them up right away and avoid having your packages stay in the mailbox where your details – name and address – may be seen by anyone.
- Through your bank statements
If you throw away previous bank statements that are already settled, make sure you shred the bill to pieces. This is to avoid others from piecing together your details and use your bank statements for identity theft cases.
- Through your receipts
Avoid throwing your receipts in the bin, especially if it contains your name, account numbers and other details they can use to steal your identity. Instead, shred the receipts to pieces or you can keep them secure in one place, should you need the receipts in the future.
- Through your password storage
It is quite understandable that you may not be able to remember all your passwords to all your accounts, and saving these details where you can access them easily is advised. How safe is your password storage? Keep your account details and passwords in a safe place.
- Through malware and viruses
Malware are computer softwares sent and received by specific computers where it can extract your computer contents and your details inside the computer. To avoid this, simply avoid clicking on links and emails that may seem suspicious.
- Through accessing the Internet in public networks
When you access your accounts using public Wi-Fi, your IP address may be mirrored and identity thieves may see your details easily. Avoid accessing your banking details, social security and other private information in public Wi-Fi areas.
- Through unsafe disclosing of personal details
Identity theft can be prevented when you are also vigilant and mindful about who your give your information to. Avoid disclosing your personal details to many people.
Your identity is a vital factor and information for you, thus you should protect it always. Keep your identity secure by taking safety measures for ID theft protection to prevent being a victim of this crime.
Author information: Ryan Moalemi is an author at Noidentitytheft.com, a free public resource delivering expert reviews of financial protection services, articles about online safety, comparisons of identity theft protection plans & and more.