In this day and age where there are so many innovations in science and technology, more and more people are becoming vulnerable to identity theft. People who have suffered from it can attest that it is truly inconvenient when your identity is stolen. Your finances might be drastically affected, and many would say that they can still feel the effect of the crime years after.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to lessen the risk of your identity being stolen, They are not at all time-consuming and you only need to make small changes in order to assure that you will not be a victim. In fact, you may be practicing some of them already without realizing it. Go through the list below and see what you can include in your habits in order to prevent your identity from being stolen.
1. Always monitor your credit reports – you can get a free credit report each year and you should take full advantage of that. In fact, there are people who ask for a credit report more than once a year. This way you can check right away if there are any suspicious activities done under your name. Report right away if you see any purchase or loans that you know you did not avail of.
2. Shred your documents instead of just them away – it’s important that you do not leave a paper trail. You might think that crumpling up your documents is enough, but you need to actually use a shredder so that you can be sure that no one will be able to use them. So what are the documents that you need to shred? They should include your credit card receipts and statements. If you have other financial documents such as old credit card or loan applications, shred them too and do not file them at home or at the office. Since these documents will no longer be used, there’s no point in keeping them anyway.
3. Be wary with giving out personal information – even though we may be used to filling out forms for so many things such as applying for a gym membership or a cooking class, understand that you don’t necessarily have to give out personal information. You can ask the personnel getting the information if it is really necessary to give out your home address or social security number when you feel like an email should suffice. The same is true for your social media profiles. You don’t need to place your hometown, birthday and phone number as this could be dangerous.
4. Make sure you have a strong password – some people use just one password for their accounts for convenience, but this can be a way for cyber hackers and criminals to access your account and information. Make sure to have different passwords for your accounts and use a password that has a combination of numeric and alphabetical characters for added security.
5. Take immediate action when you lose important documents – make sure to report right away if you lose your credit cards, and immediately replace your social security card if it is lost or misplaced. You can go to assistedonlinefilings.com for help if you lose your social security card.