Many seek protection from identity theft when it is too late.
They have already compromised their own identity in many different ways, just from their online activities. Protecting your identity should be a preventative measure, not a post action. It is something we all must consider before we ever enter any form of identification of ourselves online.
The identity theft statistics are alarming and on the rise. Just a quick type into any search engine will reveal all the horrors of numerous people who have their entire lives devastated and wiped out right from under themselves because they had not taken the necessary precautions to protect themselves.
What can you do to protect yourself from identity theft?
Never give out your information to anyone over the phone. Phones aren't not secure. You never really know who you are talking to on the other end of the line.
No matter how little the bill or how unneeded you feel that receipt for the meal you bought is, take you receipt with you. Leaving anything like that behind can compromise your financial information and make you a potential target for identity theft.
Shred all important documents once done with them. Don't just throw them in the trash. Think of all the information that is held in your bank statement, your pay stubs or any number of things people commonly throw out without a second thought. Instead ensure all material that contains financial information is shredded. You can pick up a low cost shredder at places like WalMart.
Review your credit report at least once a year to ensure no one is stealing your identity. Nothing is worse than finding out too late that someone has taken your information and used it to destroy your life. Early detection is essential, not only to minimize the damages, but in order to catch the culprit.
Limit the information given on your personal checks. If you can have nothing more then your name and account number do it. Having ones that contain email addresses, street addresses and phone numbers puts you at risk. You need to protect your identity.
And then comes the most important part of protection from identity theft. A nine digit number that should be guarded with your life. Your social security number or social insurance number is from the view of the government, you. Those little numbers can get you a loan, a job, credit, housing and numerous other things. Which means when they are stolen, those numbers can get the offender all those things too. And you get stuck with the bill.
You can also try services like online risk assessment programs. These programs will for a fee tell you exactly how at risk you are for identity theft. A few dollars today can save you hundreds of thousands later, not to mention the pain, trouble and upset of having your identity stolen.
Identity theft prevention begins now. You need to protect yourself and keep yourself safe from identity theft. An ounce of prevention and a few dollars and hours into protection is worth more than anything else in the world when someone has stolen your entire life.
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