Protect Your Identity Footprint
Posted on 2016-04-06 09:00:39
Identity theft statistics are alarming! With many cases never being report, the real number of identity theft victims is probably much higher than the 12 to 15 million a year you often hear quoted. Is your identity footprint leaving you vulnerable to identity theft?
Your identity footprint is anything someone could steal and use to create a piece of a new identity. It could be personal or financial. Really, it doesn’t take much for someone to make you the next identity theft victim.
Be conscious of your identity footprint to minimize your risk of becoming an identity theft victim. Don’t give identity theft criminals easy access to your identity! Instead of fretting about the things that are out of your control, concentrate on the things you can control.
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Shred, shred, shred.
Shred anything with personal information. Identity thieves still scour dumpsters and trashcans for information that can help them create a new identity.
Lighten your load.
The less you carry, the less an identity theft criminal will have access to if your wallet or purse is stolen. And yes, old-fashioned pickpocketing is still a common tactic thieves use.
Pay attention to your bills.
Keep an eye on your credit card and bank accounts in between statements. A lot of damage can be done in thirty days. If your statements don’t arrive on time, call the bank or card issuer.
Guard your Social Security number.
Your Social Security number is like gold to identity theft criminals. Don’t carry your card. Leave the Social Security number field blank on forms you fill out until you know why it is needed.
Beware of phone and email scams.
A little common sense can help you avoid becoming an identity theft victim through a phone or email scam. Unless you made the phone call and are sure of the number you are calling, don’t give personal information on the phone. Be careful about clicking on links in an email. Anyone can create a website that looks official . . . but isn’t.
Don’t conduct personal business in public.
Guard your privacy with identity theft in the back of your mind. . You never know who is looking over your shoulder or capable of grabbing your information from an unprotected WiFi connection at a coffee shop. Never sacrifice privacy for convenience.
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