Identity theft is a case of misuse of your personal information without your knowledge. You are not deemed responsible for such actions by the perpetrator if you protect yourself against such acts. Although you have your rights to protection, it is always better to safeguard your identity before such an unpleasant situation arises. Following are some important tips for identity theft protection that will help you to stay away from this menace:
Control your personal financial information:
You can choose by law to stop your bank or financial institution of any kind from sharing your personal information with third parties. You can also limit the extent to which such information may be shared by these financial institutions with third parties.
Protect your social security number:
The easiest way to losing your identity is losing your social security card. Try to avoid carrying it around in your wallet. Also it is best to minimize the use of your social security number with institutions of any kind.
Shield your computer from being invaded:
You can save all your important personal data on your home computer and then safeguard it in the following ways:
- Update firewall, virus and spyware protection software regularly.
- Use good passwords with a combination of numbers, symbols and letters for added protection. Today there are password generators and managers like roboform, which create complex passwords and also encrypt and protect them.
- Download software (especially the free ones) only from websites that you are aware.
- Do not install any new software without actually knowing what it is. If you think that the software will be very useful for you, then run it in sandbox using your antivirus software.
- Set your security status of Internet browser to medium or high level.
- Do not check any spam emails or click on links that come in the pop-up windows.
Do not expose yourself to Phishing activities:
It is quite likely that the perpetrators may act or pose as a bank or a representative of a financial institution to get your personal information. You should not take the bait and act smart when such unidentified people ask you to submit any important data. Most legitimate companies do not approach you on phone or e-mails when such essential information is involved.
Protect your identity even in the trash:
Many a times we throw out letters that contain our personal data without destroying it – this could be very dangerous. Make sure you tear up such papers, credit card offers or convenience checks that you will not be using, before you throw them off in the waste.
Opt for a reputed Identity Insurance program:
There are a few identity protection programs like Identity guard, to which you can enroll. It is one of the best programs available in the market, in this identity guard review, they have clearly rated Identity Guard as the best program for complete identity protection and credit monitoring.
Keep track of your bank statements:
Is it not true that most people hardly check their bank or credit card statements sent to their homes? It is important to not only check your bank statement for the validity of every transaction recorded therein, but also to report immediately any fraudulent transactions as soon as possible.
Do not entertain pre-approved credit offers:
You can call up the credit bureau marketing department to ensure that your name is taken off their list. This will help you to stop pre-approved credit card offers as they are easier to be stolen by such identity thieves.
Each time you enter any shopping online websites, there are a few precautions that can help you ensure that your money goes to the correct venue.
- Only shop at the regular sites. Also prefer sites that you are aware of.
- Check for the SSL certificate of a website. A website with an ssl certificate always starts with https:// instead of http .
- Secure your information: Never share any personal information with any agency unless absolutely essential.
- Check your complete credit history.