Identify theft is a big deal and you must try avoid this common and costly problem. To do so, a consumer should know how fraud occurs and how to prevent it.
Here are four tips to protect yourself and prevent identity theft:
Believe it or not, many seasoned criminals take a decidedly low-tech approach to finding your private information. By hopping in recycling bins and garbage cans, a thief can get your account number, social security number and home address.
With this information and a little effort, a person can steal your identity with ease. With an inexpensive and easy-to-use paper shredder, you shred your sensitive and vital information. When encountering shredded documents and mail, a criminal will go on to the next victim and leave you alone.
Secure your computer and network
Increasingly, criminal organizations turn to the Internet to find victims. One easy way many take control of victim’s identities is to upload a virus or malware on a computer server. Then, when the malware reaches your computer, a hacker can steal all your information.
Do not fear this too much. Instead, you should use an updated Web browser. Also, when on a wireless network, make sure it is secure. By using a password on your home network, you can prevent a hacker from accessing your network.
Also, if you go to the library or coffee shop, do not head to your banking or personal finance websites. When on a public network, your information is sent unencrypted and a malicious thief can intercept any communication.
Minimize cards and other financial products
It is easy to carry six or seven credit cards in your wallet or purse. With so many reward programs and benefits, some consumers whip out a different card all the time. While it is a great way to build points efficiently, it can cost you in other ways.
To keep things simple and under control, you should reduce your amount of financial products. At minimum, you must carry a card or two in your wallet. Remember, the more products you have, the more likely you are to experience identity theft.
Finally, to catch the problem before it grows, you should monitor your credit and, when needed, take action. With a small investment, you can watch your credit profile and, when necessary, step in and fix the issue quickly.
If you take a proactive approach and follow these four tips, you can protect yourself and prevent identity theft.
Informational credit to CalhounInjuryAttorney.com. Click the link to find more info on personal injury lawsuits.
About the Author:
Addy Reeds is a freelance writer from Oregon. Along with being a student at the University of Oregon, she stays busy with pursuing her love of writing and spending time with friends.
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