Identity thieves will not bother themselves in stealing another person’s identity if they do not get anything from it. The reason why identity theft is continuously on the rise is because criminals realized the potential advantages of assuming another person’s identity. For obvious reasons, you can never be held accountable to crimes that you did not commit.
If you want to evade identity theft and stay secure with your personal information, consider the following steps:
1. Create a back up copy of all your personal information. It is advised that you keep a copy of all your credit cards, bank account numbers, driver’s license, social security cards, etc. so that if you lose them, you can easily cancel them out since you have the photocopies.
2. If you are fond of using your credit card, then you should also be fond of disposing the credit card receipts properly. You should know by now that credit card receipts contain valuable information that identity thieves can simply find irresistible and when they get their hands on it, they can use it to steal your identity.
Credit card bills, bank account statements, pre-approved credit applications should be put on fire to be properly disposed of. While shredding destroys the paper, the contents are not entirely obliterated. It can still be pieced together to form one document that will still contain your personal information. Shredding is old school. Let’s see how identity thieves will retrieve your personal information from the ashes that you will leave.
3. It is best to keep in close contact with your local credit card company. For instance, if you applied for a credit card and it did not arrive on time (or in the time promised to you by the company), c all your credit institution and tell them your concern. Mails can be intercepted and used for identity theft.
4. Whenever you need to create passwords or PIN numbers, make sure that they are easy to recall but hard for criminal to guess. Use a combination of letters and numbers, and stay away from your birth date, mother’s maiden name, and pet’s name or famous number combinations. Safeguard your username and don’t give out your password especially if you make a lot of purchases online.
5. All your personal information and details should be kept personal and not given out to anyone who asks for it, even in websites. Do not immediately give out your personal information to people who call you and inform you that they are representing a certain financial institution and would only like to verify “some banking information.”
6. Before making any withdrawal using you ATM, make sure that no one is standing close behind your shoulders. Shoulder surfing is another way for identity thieves to steal your PIN code and bank account numbers.
7. Monitor your bills every month particularly, credit card bills. Every purchase reflected in the bill should all be made with your permission. If you see any purchases that you are not aware that you made, report it immediately to your local credit institution so that they can take necessary actions.