7 Tips to prevent Identity theft
Identify theft is on a steep climb and for many Americans; it has become a living nightmare. This article provides 7 tips on how to prepare yourself and avoid becoming a victim of identity theft.
The first tip is to not give out any information over the phone to people you cannot verify. Many identity thefts occur because someone is asked to give their Social Security number over the phone and he or she did. It is much easier and safer to conduct your business in person where you can be certain of the identity of the person you are talking to.
The second tip is to shred all of your important papers that you are going to discard. Once you have put out your trash with your bills in it, you do not know who may be looking through your trash.
The third tip is to check on your credit report regularly. You are allowed a copy of each of your three credit reports once a year. A good suggestion is to use one credit report every four months to see that there is no false information.
The fourth tip is to check with your insurance company to see if you can purchase identity theft insurance. This is often very low-cost and usually will provide $25,000 worth of coverage to help you clean up your credit report if your identity is stolen.
The fifth tip is to keep your virus protection on your computer up to date. There are many worms or viruses which will track and keep your passwords and user names to financial sites. This can be an easy way for many hackers to get your identity very easily without you ever knowing for the better that it did happen.
The sixth tip is not to respond to emails from your bank or other financial institutions asking you to confirm your account number, Social Security number, or other valuable personal information. These types of emails are called “phishing” emails. These emails often can seem to be official through the use of bank logos and the email address that appears on the sender line. You can delete the email or take a copy to the originator to validate it if you are unsure.
The final tip is to only carry the personal information you need with you. There is no reason that you need to carry your Social Security card with you at all times. If your wallet or purse is stolen, your identity can be very easily stolen. It can also be prudent to limit the number of cards you carry in your wallet as well. Many people carry so many cards that they do not know where to start if the wallet or purse is stolen.
Identity theft can happen but you can lower the likelihood of it happening and the potential impact just by following these very simple steps. Remember to be active and working on lowering your chances of identity theft every day by being smart and not falling for little traps like phishing emails.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kwame Kuadey is a gift card expert and runs a popular gift blog at http://blog.giftcardrescue.com/. Kwame is CEO & Founder of http://www.GiftCardRescue.com, an online marketplace where visitors can buy and sell unused gift cards. Kwame is currently working on http://www.ghanatravelpage.com