6 Tips To Preventing Identity Theft

Many of us have this constant worry of somone stealing our identity, this is due to Internet and new technologies, such as the iPhone. It has been made so easy for somone to steal our ID and use it for financial gains. ID theft costs the state billions each year and the only winners in this are the thieves themselves.
Let’s give you some tips on keeping your ID safe and out of the thieves gritty fingers! Read these 6 tips of keeping safe on and offline.

  • Tip #1 – Never EVER no matter how many times people ask, give your social security number away. Even banks will only ask for the last four digits of your number for security purposes, this is to confirm your identity to them.
  • Tip #2 – Always make a habit of checking your monthly outgoings, this means all of your bills, such as credit cards and bank statements. Doing this will minimize the risk of an empty bank account. Some services online for example will keep charging you and if you see any strange transactions, then you know somne has your card and possibly your whole indentity. Check them monthly to make sure everything is as it should be.
  • Tip #3 – Sign up to an online credit report agency and download your report on a monthly basis. This is a biggie as you will know if any agency or company has looked up your credit history, they do this so you can make purchases. If a company has looked up your credit report this almost definitely rings alarms bells as somone has tried to gain credit on your identity.
  • Tip #4 – If you are ever asked to product a password on any account such as a contract phone or a bank account, make this password very secure. Do not use your birthday or a spouses name / birthday. Try to use digits and something that will ot be guessed easily, many crackers online possess dictionary hacking software, so go for something which is not in the dictionary.
  • Tip #5 –Do not give out your personal information over the phone, nobody will ever ask for it. Companies you are with such as phone contracts and banks usually ask for secret passwords and last four digits of cards or social security. No self-respecting company will ever call and ask for full information.
  • Tip #6 – Buy a shredder! These things are crucial to getting rid of any personal information you get through the mail, such as bank statements and other utility bills. There ARE people out there that will dumpster dive and look through your trash from the dumpster. They only need a few utility bills and bank statements to start stealing your identity!

So please keep yourselves and your families safe online and off. Always remember to second guess any strange phone calls or random letters you receive in the mail.

Featured images:
  •  License: Creative Commons image source

For more information please see the Traveler’s Guide to Preventing ID Theft.