How to Help Minimize Identity Theft

By: Bernard Pragides

In order to avoid the increasing problem of identity theft, you need to be aware of the tell tale signs and take as many measures as possible to reduce this type of fraud. A few helpful points are mentioned below.

Remember to check your credit reports on a yearly basis. This not only helps you to keep track of your credit rating but most of all it can be the first indicator of fraudulent activity taking place in your name. You are entitled to one free credit report per annum plus additional reports may be available if you have previously been a victim of identity theft.

Keep all personal information and identification private and if you are in any doubt as to how personal information will be used, then simply do not give it out. Any documentation displaying your name, address, credit card account numbers and pin numbers should be destroyed thoroughly prior to being discarded, especially supermarket receipts where you have settled the bill by credit card payment. If you need to keep it, then keep it somewhere safe. If you don't need to keep it - shred it!

Most of us use passwords on a daily basis for various personal accounts we hold. Make sure you use a different password for each account and make the password a combination of numbers and letters, lower and upper case, the more complicated the better. Its sensible not to use your birth date - remember, the more unusual the combination the less chance of someone working it out. Try to commit passwords, pin numbers and social security numbers to memory instead of keeping a record on paper.

How to Help Reduce On-line Identity Theft

In this day and age we nearly all use the internet as a convenient means of purchasing goods along with carrying out our regular banking transactions. It's a good idea to install a recommended anti-virus software on our computers and to scan the content of our files at frequent intervals. We should maintain this security level by updating the software as and when necessary. Links and attachments received in the in-box of your email account, should not be opened unless you know for sure where they have originated from. On-line identity theft is becoming more and more prevalent. Fraudsters are persevering with fresh ways to gain access to your details, resulting in ongoing research being carried out into new methods of protection. A Firewall program is just one solution to protect your computer from these fraudsters, along with a secure browser to protect on-line transactions.

It is important that we all help each other to combat identity theft. Reach out to others, the young and the vulnerable, family and friends, show them where information can be found to keep updated on issues relating to identity theft, in order to make sure we are all doing as much as we can to keep our identities as safe as possible.

Take steps to safeguard your private and personal information. Help reach out to others you know to alert them to this info for their safety. Print out helpful articles like this and share copies with others, even emailing them as well to help others stay safe online and off. And bookmark helpful sites and blogs and subscribe to them, to stay advised of alerts and updates regarding identity theft issues and topics are also great ideas

Identity Theft
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