Stay Alert: Your Identity Can Be Stolen At Any Time
With an estimated 10 million cases of identity theft being reported each year since 2008 in the U.S. people really need to start to be proactive and learn to protect themselves. It is the digital era and that makes it easier for hackers to sneak in and steal any personal information they can find that will help them become rich or commit other crimes under your name. In this article we will discuss how you can stay alert so you can protect your identity no matter where you go throughout your day.
Lock up Your Smartphone –
You can obtain software now a days that will allow you to lock your smartphone or erase all the information if needed when you lose it or believe it was stolen. The best thing is to be wary of what you put on your phone in the first place. You do not want others to have access to the phone numbers and addresses of all of your contacts either or they could use these to harm even more people.
Text messages can also be intercepted by hackers so remember not to send any passwords or sensitive information over the wire. This also applies to voice mail messages. Be sure to have a strong password to keep out intruders and only check it when you are in a safe environment where no one can listen or look over your shoulder to see what you enter.
Keep Track of Your Credit History –
You are eligible to receive a free credit report a year from each of the 3 main credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, Experian). If you request one from each place every 4 months, you should be able to keep tabs on your credit transactions without having to pay anything.
Look out for any suspicious activity that you do not recognize. If you are suddenly being denied credit for something after having good credit, you will want to know why. The last thing you need is a credit agency calling you to collect for a bill that you never authorized.
Be Mindful of Your Information –
This means if you throw out anything that has personal information on it such as financial statements or credit card applications you do not want to submit, you need to shred the documents before throwing them in your trash. There are people who will dig through it if they believe there is stuff they can use.
Take notice of your mail. If you think your usual bills and other normal mail is not being delivered on time or properly, this could indicate that someone is re-directing your mail to another address.
Email is a big thing today. If you find you are receiving strange emails, or a lot of unwanted solicitations than this could also be something to indicate someone has gotten a hold of some of your information and is using it for no good. Never open any emails that do not have subject lines, and never respond to a request for personal information. There were a lot of scammers over the last year trying to entice every day citizens out of their information by saying they won the lottery or a prize of some sort. Legitimate banks and companies will never ask for this information through email.
If your home is ever robbed, it is best if you have completed a list of all inventories in your home. In this way you can quickly scan through and see if you still have all your personal information and identification.
Students especially when questioned admitted that they are prone to leaving out information or id in places that others can see it. You never know when someone sitting beside you at a government office or doctor’s office will glance over and start writing down your SSN or name and address for their own purposes. If you take the steps to hide your information and keep it closely guarded, you will not fall prey to these felons.
Tess Young a young and energetic traveler who has travelled to a lot of places. She loves to write articles related to travel and technology. She gives a lot of tips and ideas on how to have a safe and a peaceful travel. She writes contents for Guest Door on many topics such as Traveler's Guide to Preventing Identity Theft .
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