Understanding identity theft is important because this is firstly a crime that can be very costly to the victims who know nothing about identity theft protection. Identity theft is the act of deceitful acquisition of an individual’s personal information either in part or entirely by a criminal. The information acquired can be your social security number (SSN), your driver’s license or any other information. The information is acquired illegally so that it can be used for the purposes of obtaining credit, goods, or services using name of the victim. The theft of identities also happens when the criminal involved is looking for credentials to falsify.
Increase in Identity Theft in Recent Years
The risk of anyone’s identity getting stolen has markedly increased in the last few years. This means that there is a need to take some measures to protect your identity from this crime. This is why identity theft protection is very important and why you must do something to protect yourself from the crime. The dangers of the crime of identity dictate that you protect yourself. You might end up having a criminal record that you are not aware of if your identity is used. This would mean that a warrant of arrest can be issued without your knowledge as well. You might also end up running huge debts that you are unaware of. It is essential to protect your personal information from identity thieves. To do so, here are six key tips that will help you.
Have Passwords That Are Strong
When your passwords can be easily guessed, you give identity thieves an easy time when they try to gain access to your information. Most people try to use passwords that they can remember easily and end up using typical passwords that can be breached. By using password manager software, you deter identity theft. All you need is a master password and your password database can remain encrypted.
Make Sure Sensitive Information is Protected
Sensitive information is any information that requires protection for access that is not warranted. The security of any individual or organization must be protected. Financial information also requires protection. Using a firewall, software that protects against spyware and anti-virus software is very essential.
Protecting Your Mobile Device is Protecting Yourself
Mobile devices are a source for very prompt distribution of information. But while you might have so much information at your fingertips, some of it can be quite personal and you would not want it in the wrong hands. Use security software to protect your smartphone and make sure the software is always up to date. Have a pin that is secure and if you have to use Wi-Fi hotspots, be sure that they are safe. Information stored in your smartphone should always be backed up in case you lose the device.
Be Careful About What You Share in Social Network Sites
Most people share very personal information on social network sites without the knowledge that hackers and cyber criminals are waiting to pounce on the information. Your phone number, your personal address, and information such as your birthdate, birthplace and your social security number should remain private.
Leaving a Paper Trail Could Lead to Identity Theft
A paper trail includes such documentation as credit cards, ATM cards, receipts that you are given in gas filling stations and health insurance cards. Any document that has information about our names, birthdate and birthplace, residence and such sensitive information could be a loophole for identity theft.
The Importance of Monitoring Your Credit Card Report
It is essential that you get your credit card report and monitor it carefully. A free copy is available once every year and will help you to find out if any suspicious activity is in the report. If you find any activity that is not agreeable, report to your credit card company.