Identity theft is quite a serious crime that can have a negative impact on your credit score as well as finances.
Even if you manage to find about it pretty early on in the piece, damage control may be time-consuming and costly.
Good news is that there are ways through which you can protect yourself and your important details.
To begin with, make sure that you do not toss credit card receipts and bank account statements in the trash. Instead, it is advisable that you dispose of them using a shredding service or a cross-cut shredder.
When it comes to passwords, it is always a good idea to use random combinations of special characters, numbers, and letters. Another important thing that you need to do is to come up with different passwords for each account. And finally, change them on a regular basis.
On a yearly basis, you get one free credit report from all the three prominent credit reporting agencies. Make sure that you request one report every four months. Once you get the report, review incorrect and suspicious information.
Social Security number
Do not share your social security number until and unless it is mandatory. And yes, your wallet is definitely not a place to put your Social Security card.
Having personal details like your address and birthday readily available in your Facebook and Twitter profile is not a cool idea. Instead, try to put a lot more emphasis on strengthening your privacy settings and before accepting any friend request, do your homework.
To protect yourself from identity theft, it is of paramount importance that you lock it with a strong password. In addition, when you are not using Bluetooth in your mobile, make sure it is turn off. You also need to be quite cautious at the time of downloading apps, more so the free versions of famous apps. There is a strong possibility of these apps having malware.
Be proactive when it comes to unsolicited phone calls and emails, asking for your personal details.
Monitoring your financial details
As soon as you witness some suspicious activity on your credit card or bank statement, contact your bank immediately, telling them the whole situation in a detailed manner.
Safety of your mail
You would be surprised to know, but it is a fact that swiping your mail is one of the straightforward methods to steal your identity for a thief. And that is where it is pivotal that you use a P.O. box or locked mailbox. If you are visiting a foreign country, tell your post office to hold your mail.
By following the guidelines mentioned above, you will be able to keep your sensitive details private. But remember, until and unless you are disciplined in your approach, you would not be able to protect your personal details in this day and age when technology is updating so fast. These tips are of no use once your identity is stolen.