Simple Guidelines on How to Avoid Identity Theft

No one wants to be the victim of a crime. Even if you never see the perpetrator face to face, knowing that someone has gained access to your personal information leaves you feeling vulnerable and angry. There are victims of identity theft every day. A person who has experienced this type of crime has had unauthorized charges to his credit cards, activity in his bank accounts or loans that have been taken out in his name.

Often the illegal activity is not discovered until some damage has already been done. It then becomes a costly headache for the victim to put his financial life back in order. It is preferable by far to learn how to avoid identity theft than to find out how to clean up the mess once the crime has been committed.

There are many lessons you can take to heart on how you can avoid identity theft. The number one principle to keep in mind is to guard all of your personal information just as you protect your cash and your other assets. Do not be willing to give away information like your social security number or driver’s license number too freely. Keep account numbers, passwords and PIN’s in secure locations where they will not be easily found by others.

Do not throw away documents with this type of information on them until they are torn up or shredded. You should also shred papers such as applications for credit cards or loans that you do not want. It is a good rule of thumb to always consider how you can avoid identity theft as you dispose of any personal papers.

How to Avoid Identity Theft on the Internet

Cyberspace is another environment where those with unscrupulous intentions are attempting to get their fingers on your personal information. It is wise to exercise the same caution and consider how you can avoid identity theft when you are surfing the internet. For example, when you are selecting a password to access a secure website, make sure you choose something that will not be too easy for another person to figure out, such as your birthday or child’s name. Change your passwords occasionally, and never use the option of “remember my password”. Always type your password in every time you want to access an online account.

If you are using a different computer, do not go into any of your personal accounts if someone else will be signing onto that system after you. It would be very simple for another person to gain access to personal accounts if you have both been working on the same computer.

Nobody wants to be the victim of identity theft. Fortunately, it is not difficult to learn how to avoid identity theft, and with a few simple steps you can greatly minimize your risk of falling prey to this type of crime.

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