Falling a victim of identity theft can be extremely devastating not just because you lost a lot of money, but also your name and reputation being ruined. Identity theft is a situation where by someone impersonates you and or either operate your account or contact your relation, as you, without your knowledge or permission. There are different forms of identity theft ranging from use of your credit card, by a stranger, to access your account, use of your email and other social network accounts without your permission, withdrawing cash from your account using your identity or personal details. Identity thieves can be very skilled at finding their targets and then exploiting their findings if proper precautions are not taken. For this reason, to protect yourself you need to stay all the more alert and knowledgeable on the various forms of identity theft and ways to avoid them and necessary measures to take when it happens. Below are some of the ways on how to avoid identity theft.
Ensure that your social security card is always kept in a safe and secured place, do not carry it in your wallet and only carry it when necessary. Since your SSN is a critical piece of personal information, do not give it out to just anyone unless necessary. You should also not print or write it on any form of identification, checks or use it as a public password pin in any of your accounts.
Since most of your personal cards might be needed at any time, ensure that you guard your handbag, wallet or purse. Always ensure that the pocket in which you put your wallet or purse is safe enough to carry them. Never put either down, especially in public places or places you can easily forget them, unless your hands are connected to them. This is because they can easily be carried away from you without your information.
The best way on how to avoid identity theft, especially in your email account, which is so common today, is to use a strong password that is, your password should be one that is not easily accessible. Avoid using sequential letters or number, initials of your name or your real name. Do not share your password with anyone. You should also spam and delete any email that you suspect as scam or soliciting for your personal information. When sending emails with vital information, ensure that you give as little personal information as possible. Also, ensure that the emails you discard or send to trash do not have personal information as bank statements, ATM receipts, which may lead to identity theft. For total safety use shredders instead. Unsubscribe from any email that to dot add value to your inbox.
Beware of callers who pressure you to give personal information to them or callers who ask you to join some lottery that you have little or no information about. Also beware of strange callers who tell you that you have won lottery that you did not participate in or those promising you an extravagant gifts or vacations only to get your personal information. To avoid such scam, do not give personal information or details over the phone if you did not initiate the call. You can also limit the number of calls to receive.
Report any suspicious activity either in your bank account or with your debit card. These activities could include attempt to access your account without your permission, unusual activities in your social networking account and unusual information in your bank account among others. In case you lose your debit cards, inform your bank as soon as possible so that they do not allow for any withdrawal.
Follow the above tips on how to avoid identity theft and you will avoid the frustrations that come with such a vice that is so rampant today.