Identity theft is a multimillion dollar business and it affects a vast amount of people each year. Victims of this theft have found themselves stressed out and working hard trying to repair their credit as best they can. One way of to prevent this from happening to you is to take the steps to protect yourself.
How to prevent identity theft
Having the attitude that your identity could never be stolen is hazardous. With the expansion of technology and the use of online bill pay, it seems that the average person's risk of becoming a target has more than doubled. There are things that you can do to decrease your risk of becoming a victim.
Protect personal information: When you are giving your personal information out online or over the phone be careful not to give any more than needed. Clear your computer's history and close out your window as soon as you finished your transactions. Also, never give out a credit card number or a social security number through e-mail.
Pay attention: You should know approximately what time of the month that your credit card statements and other bills arrive. You should be well informed of your monthly bill arrival and if it does not show up then you need to contact the credit card company immediately. Credit card statements is one of the most popular ways that crooks use to steal your information.
Change passwords often: Using passwords and PIN numbers is the best way you have to protect the access to your accounts. It is good to change these passwords often and to report any suspicious goings on.
Bills and statements: Make a habit of shredding up any types of bills and statements before throwing them away. If you don't own a paper shredder then you should cut them up. As the saying goes, better safe than sorry.
Use caution: By simply using your head you can keep yourself safe. Don't readily give your personal information out. If you are suspicious of any company asking for your information you should check them out. Follow your feelings as they could be right.
Your identity is stolen
If you have found yourself to be a victim of identity theft then you need to follow a few steps of precaution to prevent more damage than necessary.
The first thing that you will need to do is change all of your PIN numbers and passwords. This simple step could easily prevent thieves from stealing from you or destroying your good name.
Let the authorities know what has happened and be fully cooperative with their investigation. You also need to call your bank and your credit card companies.
Identity thieves have become big time criminals that are using their skills to take money from people. Protecting yourself is the only way to spare your credit rating.