Identity theft is a crime that is estimated to affect 9 million people per year in America alone. It has become a major issue in America in recent years, costing an estimated $52 billion per year. With hackers making the headline around the globe daily, protecting personal and sensitive information is increasingly more important than ever before. The fact that Identity Theft has been ranked as the No. 1 national security threat by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence. This should spur more people to take real and tangible steps to protect themselves, family and business against identity theft. Unfortunately, it is a daunting challenge for customers to completely protect themselves from the sophisticated tactics of identity thieves, but you do not have to be a victim. You can reduce your exposure to identity theft through these simple guidelines.
Here are few tips you can adhere to that would keep you safe against identity theft:
1. Ensure that you keep your personal documents safe. You can consider keeping a personal safe at home as well as a safety box somewhere else.
2. Subscribing for the protection service of an identity theft program is a way to ensure that the company provide the service comes to your help in the case you fall victim of identity theft.
3. Regularly examine your bank account statements to ensure that there are no irregularities or unauthorized charges.
4. Shred personal documents before disposing off of them. Dumpster diving is a common method of identity theft. Your personal information could be gotten by dumpster divers and used for identity theft.
5. Always secure your mailbox. Empty your mailboxes in time and always lock your P.O. box to ensure criminals and hoodlums do not get a chance to snatch credit card pitches.
6. Avoid mailing outgoing mails and checks from your home. They could be stolen from your mailbox and the payee name erased and replaced with theirs.
7. Never carry your credit card with you if you are not going to be using or any other document that wouldn’t be in use when you are going out. This way if your wallet is stolen your credit card and valuable document would still be intact.
8. Whenever you are dealing with someone whether online, via telephone or in person, you should sure you know who you are dealing with or make a call to confirm if they are reputable or work for a reputable firm, before disclosing personal information.
9. Besides regularly reviewing your bank statements monthly, you should sign up for a mobile alert or email alert. Your financial institution would alert you via email or text message when a cash transaction is carried out using your credit card.
10. Endeavor to be creative and careful when setting up your password. Do not be lazy with your passwords, whether it is for your email address, computer or credit card. If they are too simple and can easily be guessed then you could fall victim of identity theft.
Following these tips and reading up new ways to insure yourself against identity theft can minimize your exposure to identity theft.
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