Every minute of every day, somebody gets their identity stolen.
Did you know that in the US alone, every year there are as many as 15million victims of identity theft? The fact that identity theft is on the rise is a major concern to everyone. While some people think that this form of crime is only an issue for those who are careless or keep lots of information about themselves lying around, this isn’t true. Identity theft can happen to any person, anywhere and at any time.
Related Post: 10 Ways to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
Whether you are careless or not and whether you have sensitive information lying around – there is no reason why your identity won’t be stolen today.
Tips to protect your identity from theft
1. Do not carry your Social Security card with you
The obvious first step is to not carry your social security card with you. If you are carrying it around, then it is easier for someone to steal your information. You can go to the social security website and get a printout of your social security number. Using this would be useful as a secondary form of identification when needed.
2. Use secure passwords and change them regularly
It’s a good practice to use secure passwords on your accounts and change them regularly so that someone who had the password in the past doesn’t use it now or in the future to access your account. More websites are adopting two-factor authentication, these sites require you to confirm your identity by entering your username and password and then a code generated on an app such as Authy or Microsoft Authenticator.
It is worth keeping up to date on the latest advances in identity verification software as they can help you to stay ahead of fraudsters and protect your digital identity.
3. Shred sensitive mail before throwing it out
If you have a shredder at home, then use it on every piece of mail that has any sensitive information printed on it and tear up any envelope with your name printed on it as well. These pieces of information may be used by someone to open up new credit cards, checking accounts, and loans in your name.
4. Keep a close eye on your credit card spending
To prevent identity theft, you have to keep a close eye on your credit card spending. Unfortunately, many people use stolen identities and buy things using stolen credit cards. As long as you are monitoring your spending with the banks, then it will help stop identity thieves in their tracks.
5. Only buy from trusted websites
It goes without saying that you should only buy from trusted websites and sellers. Unfortunately, many fraudsters sell phony goods using someone else’s identity. This is why you have to be cautious when buying items online and why you have to buy from reputable sellers. Check the address of all sites you visit – hackers often try to trick visitors into entering details on a fake website that looks similar to a popular site. Always make sure any website is using encryption to protect your data– look for a padlock symbol in the address bar.
Keeping close tabs on your financial data and taking the necessary measures to safeguard it from identity theft is not only recommended, it is necessary.If you follow some or all of the points mentioned above, you can significantly reduce the chance of having your identity stolen.