Prevention Of Identity Theft

By: Frances T. Russell

Your name and personal integrity and reputation are your most valuable possession. Look at the concern put onto protecting a person's reputation. Slander is a very serious crime

Identity theft is a disaster waiting to happen to you. You have no idea how much time and aggravation can be spent if you are a victim of identify theft. No one will really believe you now or for years to come. . An ounce of prevention is worth 10 tons of cure in terms of identity theft.

What steps can you take to prevent identity theft?

1)First of all when you have checks printed ensure that you employ basic security measures to prevent and deal with identity theft concerns. Use your initials and last name when ordering printed checks. Your bank keeps a picture record of your signature. The criminal will not know you sign your name. Your bank can verify your actual signature versus the signed check. In this day and age of technology your bank can email or fax that signature for comparison and verification purposes elsewhere.

2)Ensure that you do not have personal information printed on your checks no matter how convenient it is for you. Do not list your social security number or home phone number when having your checks prepared and printed.

3)It is wisest not to have mail delivered by hand to your own personal mail at home or at your residence. This mail drop can be easily monitored, is mainly unprotected and not secure and as well easily pilfered.

4)When you do have those new checks sent to you - pick up the checks at the bank personally if possible or at the worst have them mailed to work.

Credit cards are an easy route to major worldwide identity theft routes. Imagine if you can that halfway around the world in Amsterdam or Hong Kong or Peking you can obtain luxurious goods and services all by handing over a small piece of plastic. Secure your credit cards and credit card services.

When paying credit card bills, write only the last four digits in the memo or in the envelope.

Preplan for disaster, so to speak. Prepare over time a good list of your credit cards and the relevant toll free numbers. If you are a victim of identity theft you may be so numb with worry that you may be able to proceed in any logical manner at a fast and reasonable pace. Sure some phone numbers may change over time. You can update the list from time to time. It sure is good to have some of the effort prepared ahead of the fire and emergency.

It is best not to carry your vital social security card in your wallet. Better to memorize the number and store the card in a safe place - perhaps in your bank vault.

Ditto for pins and passwords. Fifteen years ago France initiated a one card for everything program. The idea was to consolidate all finance for every person with one plastic card and issue terminals. This seemed to be a great idea until it was discovered that approximately half of the people were writing down the all inclusive number on the back of that very card.

Do not write down pins and passwords on the back of cards on even in the documents in your purse or briefcase. Do not use easily guessable passwords.

The major first steps for even bright kids to guess passwords are first: address

Second: Spouse's name, Third: Pets name, fourth: kids names, ditto for birthdays and anniversary dates. Assign different passwords for each debit or credit card; use a combination of digits and numbers. Lastly change your passwords on a regular basis.

It is not only nosy neighbors, or even post office investigators who routinely delve in a person's trash. Get a good paper shredder. The cheaper models of paper shredders generally use flimsy nylon or plastic gears and will jam frequently. Better to spend on a better model of paper shredder which will do a better job, faster and not jam frequently/

Lastly you may have credit card accounts and bank accounts which are dormant and not being used. Close these accounts. In the end it comes down to preparation and personal attention. Be on the lookout for strange financial transactions that you do not recognize or draw attention that something just does not seem right. . An ounce of prevention in identity theft is worth tens of tons of cure.

Identity Theft
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