It is scary to think about just how vulnerable each of us is in regards to identity theft. You may find yourself thinking about it once your wallet or purse has been lost or stolen. Anyone who has it can access your credit cards, PIN numbers, and social security numbers if they are in there. Other methods of getting such information include over the internet, the phone, watching people when they use an ATM, and going through other peoples trash.
Protect yourself from Identity Theft
Monitor your credit report because fraudulent activities will show up there. Make sure you look into any questionable activities that you find on your credit report. You can get free copies of your credit report from the three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Each one has to legally give you one free copy per year.
Make sure you keep a list of all your passwords, bank account information, credit card numbers, social security numbers, and other personal information in a very safe place in your home. If your information is lost or stolen you have a quick way of being able to contact the issuers of the financial information. You should also contact the three credit reporting agencies so that they can put an alert on your account.
Before you decide to do business with anyone find out about their security procedures. Ask how they will keep your information save from identity theft. If you dont like the answers they give you then do business with someone else. Dont provide your personal information to just anyone. Be very careful who you give it to. You should never have to give out your social security number over the internet. That is a red flag that your identity may be about to be stolen.
Identity Theft Prevention Tips for Protecting your Personal and Business Information
For business related transactions, it is a good idea to have a fraud alert on accounts. It is also helpful to print out cash register receipts and to cut off credit card numbers so they cant be used fraudulently. Never send anything out by regular mail to customers that have their personal information on it as it could fall into the wrong hands.
Each of the three credit reporting agencies is required by law to provide you with one copy of your credit report annually free of charge. Make sure you review them thoroughly and report any discreprencies immediately. You need to be careful with your social security number as well. Never carry it in your purse or wallet. Dont place your social security number or drivers license number on your checks either.
When you are providing your personal information orally, pay attention to who is within earshot. It may be a good idea to write it down instead of saying it out loud. Make sure you take the time to shred documents with your personal information before you throw them away. Never give your personal information out to those who try to sell you items over the phone. You dont know who is really calling you.
If you receive any suspicious looking e-mails, delete them without opening them or replying. It is important that you follow these tips to prevent identity theft from happening to your or your business. Make sure you shred any pre approved credit card offers as thieves can get them out of your trash cans. Following these identity theft prevention tips can help prevent you from becoming a victim.
Identity Theft Support
The internet offers many wonderful websites where you can find support for victims of identity theft. These are great locations for sharing your experiences, finding strength, motivating others, and getting the word out there about identity theft. You can inspire others who are in the same situation to keep fighting just by sharing your identity theft story.