In this day and age, it is nearly impossible not to be afraid of identity theft. Each and every year, thousands and thousands of Americans have their identities stolen. While it is not always possible to completely eliminate the risks, there are some steps that can be taken to greatly diminish your chances of becoming a victim. Below, you will be provided with tips for avoiding falling prey to identity thieves.
Watch Your Trash
While it might seem awkward, a lot of identity thieves like to dive through their victim’s garbage. They’ll do this to obtain pertinent information that gives them the ability to steal your information and sign up with credit accounts in your name. With this in mind, you should be very cautious about the documents you through away in your garbage can. Make sure your social security number and bank account numbers are burned or disposed of in a more covert manner.
Shred Your Paperwork
As mentioned above, it is generally a good idea to avoid throwing away important documents. Your bank statements could prove to be an open door for an identity thief. Burning these documents will be very messy, so you should opt for a much cleaner and more environmentally friendly alternative. Check out Paper Shredder Pros and get yourself a reliable shredder. This will ensure that your information will never fall into the wrong hands!
For consumers that are concerned about their identity getting stolen by thieves, a credit freeze may be the solution. A credit free entails restricting access to an individual’s credit report. This process is notable for making it difficult for identity thieves to obtain the needed personal information to open new accounts in the consumer’s name. Most creditors require a credit report from the applicant to process the credit applicant, verify identity and approve a new account.
A credit freeze will not affect the consumer’s credit score, but it will effectively protect the consumer from identity theft. Consumers can also apply for a job, buy insurance coverage, rent an apartment and obtain a free annual credit report, even though a credit freeze is in force.
Dispose Of Computers Properly
Many people will make the mistake of tossing their old computers in the trash bin or giving them to a company, so the parts can be reused, without erasing their personal information. If you fail to overwrite the entire hard drive, you will put yourself at risk of identity theft. Someone with appropriate skill will be able to extract the data from the hard drive.
Protecting Your Passwords
In today’s time, it seems like you need a password to access just about anything. You need a password for your e-mail, you need a password to log on to your computer, and you might even need a password to get into your phone. Of course, this can be a great thing in terms of security, but with all the passwords protected devices people tend to slack off on choosing unique passwords. In fact, most people just use the same password for everything. This is a major mistake, because if someone gets access to one of your password then they will have access to all your devices.
Choose different passwords for different devices and never write them down in places that others can access. Use numerical characters and a long password to help prevent anyone from guessing your password. Never use birthdates or other significant dates in your password, as well.