6 Simple Ways to Protect your Identity

| September 24, 2013


With today’s booming technology, there are so many ways to steal another person’s identity. In fact, according to Javelin Strategy & Research, identity theft is a $37 billion crime that affects 1 in 25 U.S. citizens. But don’t worry, there are easy ways to make sure your identity isn’t used by someone you don’t know.

1. Keep technology secured

If you share a computer with a roommate, or use a computer with a public server, you need to make sure that what you shared online won’t be shared with anyone else. Check for a yellow lock in the lower right hand corner of the browser and the “s” on the end of the http: in the URL. Be keen on this especially when you are about to share personal information, such as your Social Security number, credit card information, etc. When you are finished, clear all cookies and always clear your logins and passwords from the computer’s memory.

2. Be wary of phishing

There are scam artists looking to get personal information and other pieces of data. They send emails hoping to lure individuals into divulging these important information. If you get unexpected mail asking to verify information, be careful. Also, never give out personal info through the phone or via the Internet unless you are sure you know who you’re dealing with. Some “phishing experts” pose as representatives of banks, Internet service providers, or other government agencies.

3. Shred documents

If you are not friends with your shredder yet, now’s the time to start. One tactic to get information is to go dumpster diving, or look for treasure in trash. These identity thieves can look for bank account numbers and credit card receipts. That’s why it is best to shred anything that has personal information on it. If you don’t have a shredder, you can use scissors and cut up anything that has valuable information before throwing it out.

4. Guard your PDA, cell phone, and laptop against theft

These gadgets are hot targets for thieves not only because they are expensive, but also because they may contain personal information and passwords. Make sure to keep your eyes on these items.

5. Secure your mail

Don’t leave bill payment envelopes in a home mailbox for pickup by the postman as someone might steal them. When you have outgoing mail, put your enveloped inside a postal mailbox or send it directly to a post office collection box. If you’re planning to go on a vacation and no one will be home to pick up you mail, talk to the U.S. Postal Service and have your mails put on hold.

6. Check your identity theft coverage

While identity theft can take place just within minutes, recovering from the financial and emotional damage can often take years. That’s why it is important to check with your insurance carrier whether your existing policy covers identity theft restoration. If you don’t have one yet, you can enroll in an identity theft plan under companies like LegalShield. The good thing about it is that you can protect your identity beforehand, and, in cases of theft, have legal support from competent lawyers and experts.

If you get into the habit of doing these, you will less likely be a victim of identity theft. Do you have other ideas in mind?

About the author: Melissa Page is writer and entrepreneur. She believes that protecting one’s identity is a very important thing that’s why she arms herself and her family with LegalShield’s Identity theft plan. Follow her on Twitter @MelissaPage90.


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Category: Identity Theft

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