Protect Yourself From Identity Theft In Seven Simple Steps

You might find it pretty shocking to hear that around nine million Americans have their identity stolen each year. That is a pretty large number of people, so could you be next? A lot of the time there are things that we could be doing to avoid this. It is not right for someone wandering around pretending to be you; not right at all. So in order to make more of a conscious effort to protect your identity, here are some steps that you can take.

Protect Yourself From Identity Theft In Seven Simple Steps - identity theft image

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  • Protect Personal Information
    • In the US, a social security number is what you need to avoid others knowing. Don’t keep it in your wallet or share it with other people. The same goes for things like passports and banking details. Keep them somewhere secure, rather than having them accessible to others. Look to get ID documents that will have your biometrics on, like the Indian e-Aadhar card, for example. Those kinds of ID are much harder to defraud.
  • Change Your Passwords
    • Even if you live alone and don’t share your computer, you should be locking out of sites and programs and changing your passwords regularly. Choose passwords that are more safe, such as random words, rather than meaningful ones like your mother’s maiden name.
  • Clear Your Wallet
    • If you have cards or bank accounts that you simply do not use anymore, then cut up the cards into small pieces and cancel the accounts. Doing this often will help to protect you from identity fraud.
  • Check Bills and Statements Closely
    • Although it can feel like a nuisance to keep receipts and bills, it is so important to check on. If you check your bills and bank statements regularly, and match them to your spending, you can easily identify if people have used your card or found the details online. So check them closely and report any suspicious activity.
  • Use Computer Protection
    • There are many hackers that want to easily steal your information online. And if you don’t have any virus or malware protection software in place, then it can make it really easy for people to steal from you or take your online data. So get the software and regularly check it. It also pays to only use secure sites that have https in the address bar when buying things, rather than just http.
  • Get a Shredder
    • If you get a letter through the mail that isn’t any use or something you don’t need; don’t just throw it in the bin. Shred it. Even from a letter, you don’t need, it will have your name and address clearly printed on it. So shred any documents that you don’t need. Bank statements, payslips, or even insurance letters. If you no longer need them, make sure that you shred them.
  • Use a Free Credit Report Checker
    • Taking advantage of a free credit report is a good way to spot anything untoward. If someone has tried to apply for a credit card in your name, then it would show up on there. So check this regularly and report anything that wasn’t done by you.

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