Identity theft affects more than 9 million people annually, causing irreparable damage to their credit ratings and reputations. While there are many identity protection companies out there, they are not necessarily the first or best option for victims of this crime. The following will explain how to protect against identity theft through the implementation of basic common sense.
Delta, PA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/31/2012 -- Identity thieves are not terribly bright individuals. They don’t have IQs of 180 and they don’t have any special skills. What they do have is deceitfulness and a complete lack of conscience. They don’t care about their victims or how this crime affects them, which is why they’re often successful ID thieves. The first lesson in how to protect oneself from identity theft is to comprehend the sneaky methods these thieves employ to get one’s private information. They go dumpster diving, which means they sift through the trash in large garbage receptacles, looking for paperwork containing a Social Security number (SSN), a date of birth, or a charge card number. They shoulder surf, which means they sneak up behind someone who is using a credit card to pay for something and steal the number off the card. They also go the old-fashioned route and grab and run with a woman’s purse or man’s wallet. A new favorite way to get the data on someone is to go “phishing.” This means that a pop-up or scam will be sent to someone’s computer purporting to be from a reputable business and requesting an information update.
The common sense tips that will teach one how to protect against identity theft include shredding any documents that may contain important personal data. Don’t just bury it in the trash, shred it so it can’t be deciphered. Cover a charge card number with one’s body to prevent shoulder surfers from getting the number and using it for their own gain. If carrying credit cards in one’s purse, wear it strapped across the body so it can’t be grabbed and run off with. If one is a man and is carrying charge cards, do so in an inside jacket pocket or the front pocket of one’s trousers as opposed to the rear pocket many men favor. This makes it more difficult to pick-pocket the wallet. Never, ever give one’s SSN to anyone who is not a professional such as a doctor or school official. Pay attention to those scams and “phishing” endeavors. If in doubt of the sincerity of an information update request, call the company to verify it before giving out any data.
Legal-yogi.com, an online purveyor of all manner of law advice, is located in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, has more information on this topic and is happy to share it with others.