Money, time, and personal assets are three of the most important aspects of your life, sentimentality and family aside. That’s why you should take time to protect these things from people who mean to destroy what you’ve worked so hard to build. Precautions should be taken sooner rather than later to keep identity theft from happening to you.
Know How Identity Theft Happens
Image via Flickr by Don Hankins
Identity theft primarily happens by making purchases on an unsecured network or website. Before you buy anything online, make sure it’s from a reputable source. Also, avoid making purchases across public or Wi-Fi networks. Once you make an unsecured purchase, the thief takes the compromised information and starts taking out loans and credit cards in your name. In severe cases, the perpetrator will also compromise your social security number, making it very difficult to repair.
Use a Third Party Identity Theft Protector
Because identity theft has become a rampant problem in today’s society, many businesses have sprung up offering services to prevent identity theft. Some sites offers a wide array of services to prevent identity theft before it happens. This extra precaution will ensure that you won’t have any hiccups down the road.
Set Up Banking Alerts
Most banks, whether it’s brick-and-mortar or online, offer some sort of alert system for your bank accounts or credit cards. By utilizing this free service, you can set up alerts when your credit card reaches a certain balance or your bank account goes below a set amount. This gives you the ability to monitor your accounts on a regular basis, and allows you to catch any possible identity theft in the early stages.
Protect Your Online Accounts
No matter what type of accounts you have online, make sure they’re protected. Avoid using the same password for every account, and change your password on a frequent basis. Another thing you can do is use the security questions that websites offer. It adds an extra layer of security on your accounts and makes them almost impossible to penetrate.
Paying via Direct Debit is an easier and safer way to pay recurring bills, as you won’t have to enter your credit card details every time. Companies like London & Zurich help businesses set up direct debits for their clients, thus providing a secure way to pay online.
Be Wary of Spam
A lot of email services now offer decent spam filters, which keeps unwanted and potentially dangerous e-mails out of your inbox. Spam can contain viruses, such as Trojans, that can infect your computer while going undetected. It then records keystrokes, which in turn can lead to your sensitive information being leaked. Never open an unrecognized email, and delete them if they pass through your spam filter.
Know About Phishing
Phishing has become the foremost way for thieves to capture your sensitive information. You sign into a website that looks identical to your bank’s website, however, this fake site tracks any information you put into it. Make sure that you look at the address bar in your browser to make sure you are at the correct website.
Keeping your identity safe is crucial to living a stress free lifestyle. It’s estimated that if your identity is stolen, it will take, on average, 330 hours to solve the problem. So, if you’d rather have that 330 hours to do what you love, protect your identity now and avoid the problem.