Preventing identity theft is difficult, there are ways to reduce the risk of having your identity stolen, but it is near impossible to fully prevent it. The shear amount of information that is available for anyone to look is ridiculous. If someone had a desire to, they could easily find your social security number and find out information about you that isn't desirable to be out in the public.Let's take a look at an average Saturday, you take your kids the doctor for a checkup, they scan your insurance card and drivers license and put it on file. Anyone can easily look in that file and take what they need. You drop the kids off with the babysitter and take a night out with your husband. He pays for dinner with the credit card by handing it to the waitress.These are just activities that everyone does on a daily basis, yet each time we trust that the waitress isn't going to write down our credit card numbers, we trust that no one is going to take a peek at the medical file. So how do we reduce our risk of identity theft?
Here are a few simple ways that you can prevent it.
Start with passwords, change them occasionally and don't use your mother's maiden name for any password. In fact, don't make a password anything easily guessable. Names are common to use and easy to find out, people can just look up your credit history these days. Changing your passwords will also make it more difficult to find them out.
When you are talking to people who claim they need some sensitive information, always as why they need it. Don't hesitate to be curious, ask the teller at the bank if they really need your social security number for a transaction. If someone calls you and then asks you for credit card information, don't give it away. Also, always tear up old bank account statements because they have your bank number on them.
Free Credit Report
Take advantage by requesting your annual free credit report. Make it a habit to order it and go over in detail. Watch for fraudulent charges or anything that looks fishy. Look for addresses that you have never lived at, because this will be a good indication that someone is using your name. Giving you a free credit report is required by federal law, so don't let anyone tell you otherwise.