Protect yourself from Identity Theft
Learn what Identity Theft is and how it can impact your life for months or even years after falling victim. Identity theft can be used to describe all types of crimes that involve someone criminal obtaining and then using another person personal information that involved deception or fraud for economic gain. With that said it is very important to take measures to protect our personal information on and offline. Because we live in a time when technology makes it easier than ever to get documents and makes it even easier for our private information to get compromised.
BeenVerified background check service searches through billions of records and dozens of databases.
Common ways that fraud and Identity Theft happen
Not properly discarding sensitive mail
When someone receives applications, pre-approved credit cards, or any other type of sensitive information by paper and they are not discarded or shredded properly this material may fall into criminal hands. This can be done by someone physical going through garbage or trash and finding sensitive information.
Think about how many times you or someone you know has simply tossed credit card applications or other types of information with highly sensitive and private information on it directly into the garbage. There are people just waiting to find these types of information so they can try and steal your identity by opening up
Spam emails requesting sensitive data
Emails are a large percentage of ways criminals gather private information. They simply send emails asking for information in return for benefits that are enticing to the unsuspected person. Once sensitive information is sent the person quickly realize they have been scammed. By this time it is usually
Criminal watching you input sensitive information
You would be surprised how easy it can be to watch someone either input a credit card number or watch a credit card number be inputted into a device or keypad. This is a popular way for someone to steal sensitive and private information on someone. Always beware of your surrounding when inputting passcodes, credit card numbers, and the like into smartphones, or ATM machines.
How common is Identity Theft?
According to the federal trade commission they estimate that there are roughly 9 million American face some type of Identity theft each year.
According to the FTC 8.6 million households had some form of Identity theft in 2010
The below graph shows Identity theft complaints. This data comes from the Bureau of justice statistics.
Data breaches happens to millions of people
Data breaches affect millions of people in a single breach and there are data breaches that happen all the time. A data breach is when someone like a hacker is able to get access to a companies customers personal information like names, date of births, credit card numbers, emails, and passcodes.
If you have ever suspected that your email or passcodes have been part of a data breach you should get into the habit of changing passcodes more often then not. Even if you do not suspect you have been targeted or have been part of a breach it is still wise to change passcodes.
It is also smart to use tools like RoboForm that keeps all passcodes secure online. You can read more about Roboform here.
Identity Theft Protection
Identity theft software offers three main components to there services. They monitor your personal information, alerts its users if your personal data has been used, and also help in recovery up to 1 million dollars.
There is a much more in-depth guide from NerdWallet on using Identity Theft Protection and you can find that article here.
With that said we believe that Identity Theft protection software is a good idea and can help alert you and help in recovery if something does go wrong. It should be looked at further, but it is something you may feel is money well spent.
Know your surroundings before entering sensitive information.
Shred sensitive material properly before discarding.
Do not carry your social security card on you. And never get out your social security number unless it is absolutely necessary.
DO NOT respond to unsilisted emails