There are numerous best identity theft protection tips and services, but you must take specific key steps to prevent this from happening to you, your family and to keep your personal information safe. Some say you can’t prevent identity theft. I think that is a very debatable statement.
Best Identity Theft Protection Tips
Most of my friends and acquaintances that this horrible crime has happened to, (I’ve known many of each), would vigorously debate this issue. They all came to the conclusion that in most cases you Can stop identity theft with the correct knowledge on the subject and putting your knowledge to use in all the specific areas this website gives you.
1) Make sure your mail is safe and secure.
Thieves that are out for your identity have been known to break into mailboxes for people’s personal information. Don’t leave your mail in your mailbox for long periods of time, or overnight. Pick up your mail promptly and if you’re going away for a period of time, ask the Post Office to hold it for you.
Never put checks in your home mailbox to mail. A thief could steal these, whitewash the checks, and use them for his own personal gain. For important identity theft prevention have your personal or business checks sent to the bank for pickup. This stops the identity thief from stealing your checks from your mailbox and using them.
Note: Thieves have a process they use when they steal checks from your mailbox.
They do what’s called “Wash” the checks so all the information such as who the check is made out to, date, amount and signature are totally wiped off so the thief can make out the check with their own information. Scary thought, right?
2) Use VPN Both On Your PC And smartphone.
VPN stands for the virtual private network which enables us to connect to different servers spread across the world to access the internet to protect our personal identity and location so that you can browse the internet anonymously. VPN provides a secured encrypted path to access the internet anonymously what that means whatever the information that you access or browse through virtual private network can’t be tracked or hacked by anyone. so this is one of the popular and best identity theft protection.
3) Don’t give Any personal information out over the phone.
If you get a caller that tells you he’s from your bank or one of your credit card companies, tell the person you will call them back.
Never call back a number They give you. Chances are this is not a true number and is a scam to get your personal information. Doing this leaves you wide open for identity theft. Only provide the information that is absolutely necessary.
4) SmartPhones “A Criminal’s Dream!”
- Smartphones safety and security is being threatened big time. The days of the user feeling safe using these are over.
- Smartphones and cell phone texting can lead to identity theft. The scammer has now found a new way to exploit these smartphones to commit identity theft and steal all your personal information.
Unfortunately, 2011 was certainly turned out to be a huge threat to all mobile devices due to their exploding popularity.
- The biggest threat will come from phishing attacks.
- These entice people to websites that are fake and trick you into giving your bank account numbers, credit card information, names, and passwords.
- Security threats will become more and more common to mobile devices because more people are using them.
Also, mobile phones have increased the number of channels that are available for phishing attacks.
- We now have more than 370 million smartphones, which include Androids, iPhones, BlackBerrys and all others that accept apps and have processing power that is ample.
- Millions of these are probably infected already with spyware.
The risk for this type of phone is much higher than just the “basic” one.
- In the United States, mobile phone spyware is illegal but is sold by websites that operate overseas.
There are more than 6oo app variations and all it takes is a credit card to make an instant wiretap.
5) Use a shredder.
Using a shredder stops your personal information from ending up in a thief’s hands. A crosscut shredder is the best, as it cuts in a 2 way (cross) cut, rather than just a strip method.
Note: The inside of many magazines, such as catalog magazines will have your name, address and account number on an insert in the middle of the magazine.
Someone I worked with 15 years ago tipped me off to do this. I truly thought she was going a little overboard at the time.
Guess What! I don’t think that anymore. I now practice this useful tip myself and, unfortunately, I get a Lot of magazines that fit this profile, so I rip and shred quite a bit.
6) Watch your credit card receipts.
Tip: When you throw away old newspapers or magazines you subscribe to, be sure you shred the front and/or back cover that has your name and address. You should always watch what is done with your receipts wherever you go.
In restaurants, I make sure I don’t leave receipts lying around on a table or counter and make sure the waitress puts the receipt away where it is “out of sight, out of mind”. This is simple, and another one of the ways to prevent identity theft.
7) Pay attention to the billing cycles of your bills.
- If your bills are late in arriving, check with your creditors to make sure an identity thief hasn’t stolen your account or changed the billing address.
- If this is the case, you won’t know until much later that your identity has indeed been stolen.
8) Always monitor your credit.
One of the best ways to prevent identity theft is to have your free credit report run from each of the 3 credit bureaus.
- I like to run one report from each agency every 4 months. This makes the chances less likely I will miss something happening regarding my credit.
- One of the best identity theft solutions is to consider signing up with one of the services, such as www.experian.com, or your bank, that monitor your credit for identity theft.
9) Business security procedures.
- Find out what procedures are used in the businesses you deal with, doctors office, workplace and any other establishment you do business with that collect your personal information.
- Know who has access to it, how they dispose of it, who they give access to your information and how secure it is.
- This will certainly minimize the exposure of your personal information. This is another one of the best identity theft protection.
10) Be very selective of who you give your personal information and under what circumstances.
Don’t give out your personal information indiscriminately when on the phone, or over the internet, unless you know the company is reputable and you made the first contact.
11) Protect your Social Security Number.
Only give this out when absolutely necessary or when it’s required by law.