Lately, there had been plenty of news and stories circulated all over the country regarding Identity Theft. Many shared their real experiences on unauthorized usage of their credit accounts, bank accounts and other services which involve money. At least 5 out of 100 people experience this kind of unwanted fraudulent activity.
Thieves will never be after your identity if they will not get any benefit from it. They need your information such as name, birth date, address, etc. to open your financial accounts. Personal identification entries are important to validate an account. As such, thieves will do whatever they can just to steal your identity and your money.
Your protection depends on you. In this kind of crime, nobody can help you immediately except yourself. The prevention and protection on Identity thieves depends on how wise you are in handling all important information about yourself.
The following are some suggestions one may heed in order to protect himself from Identity Theft:
1) Keep a photocopy of all his credit cards, bank account numbers and other important information in a safe place. In other words, make a back-up record of all personal information and personal numbers. Making back-up copies will help you trace and cancel your stolen or lost cards or whatsoever. Even a simple identification card or a driverís license is very important and can also be a source of information that can be stolen.
2) Credit card receipts should be disposed properly. Do not throw your receipts anywhere or it could be taken by thieves. Receipts contain information about yourself and your account. This information may help thieves to possible steal your identity. Shredding your bills and receipts may not be practical at all.
When a bill is shredded the paper are the only thing destroyed but the contents are not. It can be retrieved by pasting all shredded paper together. Instead of shredding the bills, on best way to totally destroy your bills is by putting it to fire. There is no way one can retrieve information in the ashes.
3) Keep in touch with your credit institution. If a credit card that youíve applied does not arrive on time, contact your credit institution and relay the problem. By doing so, you can prevent any fraudulent activity that may happen.
4) Create a good combination of numbers for your PIN or passwords. Make sure that you choose difficult to guess PIN. Birth dates, motherís maiden name, petís name, usual or famous number combinations, etc should not be used for your PIN or passwords.
5) Regard all personal information personal. Do not give your personal information to anyone who sends you an email and a snail mail. Never give personal information over the phone. Adds on your email offering good promos must be ignored. Do not be tempted by their flowery offerings which only are intention to steal personal information.
6) Observe the area surrounding the ATM before using it. Make sure that nobody is around you watching while making transaction on the ATM. Make sure that there are no unusual equipment illegally attached to the ATM. There had been reports about electronic devices illegally attached to the card slot in the ATM. It has cameras on it which can record your PIN as you type it in.
7) Check bills every month. All entries in the bill must be made under your permission. If there are charges included in the bill which you do not know, immediately report it to your credit institution and ask for an investigation.
8) Checks that are active and cancelled must be stored properly. There are banks that offer service like this.
9) Keep all important documents in your car properly. Do not put any thing which may contain information about you in sight inside your car. You may use the glove compartment as safety keep for your important things. Never leave it unlocked.
10) Secure all your personal information in your mobile phone and laptop with a password. Remember that laptops and mobile phones are personal gadgets that are to be used solely by you. So keep it personal.
One has to take responsibility toward his belongings, personal properties and identity to totally prevent these illegal activities. The value of your identity is equivalent to the value of your life.