How To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft
“The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief; He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.”
Given the high profile cases of hackers breaking into credit-card payment systems and stealing data, you can't prevent all identity theft. But there are many steps that you can take to reduce the risk that someone will fraudulently charge items on your credit card or take advantage of your good record by trying to open an account in your name. In most cases, vigilance is your best protection.
IN THIS APP YOU WILL GET INFORMATION ON HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM IDENTITY THEFT
** What is identity theft prevention?
**How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
**What is Theft Alarm?
**How to make ourselves Theft Aware
**What is Identity Christ?
**What is identity scanner
Think like a thief. Before you throw anything away, look to see whether it has any valuable identifying information that could be used by someone to steal your identity.
• Shred it. Think twice before you let bills, receipts, statements and solicitations leave your house in one piece. Shred financial and medical statements, pre-approved credit card offers and other solicitations, preferably with a cross-cut shredder.
• Stash it. Rather than throw away receipts and other documents at the airport, shopping center or at work, bring them home and shred them.
• Lock it up. To avoid thieves who steal credit-card offers from your mailbox or, worse, take bills waiting for the postal carrier and then doctor the checks, get a locking mailbox. If you're home a lot, you can instead get a device lets you know when your mailbox has been opened.
Financial diligence. Protecting your credit and your banking and brokerage accounts is particularly important and worthy of special effort. Among other things, keep your checkbook out of sight and keep blank checks in a secure place.
• Check ups. Monitor all your financial accounts on a regular basis, looking for any unusual transactions. Report any improper charges or withdrawals to your bank immediately. In addition, sign up for email alerts for your bank and credit card accounts, so that you'll get a text message or email if large or unusual transfers are made or your balance is unusually low.
• Red flags. If you get a notice that your email address or mailing address has been changed, it's a sign that someone may be trying to hijack your account. Contact the sender immediately.
• Freeze it. You can add a security freeze to each of your credit reports, preventing the credit reporting agency from releasing any information about you without your express authorization. These freezes must be lifted if you plan to apply for credit. The credit bureaus charge $5 to $12 to add or lift a freeze, though the fee may be waived if you are a victim of identity theft. The credit bureaus are Experian, Equifax and Trans Union.
Reduce your risk. You can cut your chances of identity theft by taking other steps to reduce unwanted solicitations and protect your information. You should also be diligent about managing important documents.
• Cut junk. You can reduce your junk mail by going to the Direct Marketing Association site at www.DMAchoice.org and setting your preferences. You'll still get mail from companies that you already do business with. In addition, choosing to be contacted by email instead of mail reducing the opportunity for crooks to get your information, while also saving paper and printing costs.
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