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Monday, December 6, 2010

Stop Identity Theft Before It Stops You

Identity theft protection. Learn more.

More and more people are having their identities stolen nowadays. This particular crime does not only happen online but it also takes place in the real world. While a lot of identity theft criminals have taken advantage of technology to gain access to other people’s personal information, there are still traditional identity theft criminals who use the more reliable ways of gaining access to another person’s private life like dumpster divers and the like. While we cannot totally eradicate identity theft in a couple of mouse clicks, we can do something to lessen its impact on our life if we get victimized.

Here are some of them:

1. Tear up old credit cards and throw them in different trash cans. This is one way of securing your old credit card from identity thieves. When you cut your credit card into small pieces and throw all pieces in one place, then a dumpster diver can easily piece together your old card and when he or she does, then you are in big trouble.

2. Empty your mailbox as soon as the mail arrives. Leaving your mail on mailboxes unattended can invite identity theft criminals to steal your mail and read your bank statements and credit card statements before you even read them. These are very important documents because these contain a lot of your personal information that when accessed, can spell out identity theft in capital letters.

3. Do not share personal information with people that you don’t know. A lot of scams are being done over the phone. Some criminals call up their victims and introduce themselves as bank representatives. They will then weave a story that the bank is currently undergoing a merger and in order to secure the account and prevent it from being closed, you need to verify the account by providing them with your personal information.

4. Do not open email from unknown senders. Junk email often contain spyware programs that when opened, automatically downloads and installs itself into your computer. The spyware now acts as a “spy” by collecting your personal information and sending it to its “home base” without your knowledge.

5. Use only original software. Pirated software are also often bombarded with spyware and malware of different sorts. If you really want to secure your data and maintain the integrity of your documents, stay away from pirated software as they are means that identity theft criminals use to access your identity.

6. Buy a crosscut shredder and shred your document before you throw them out of the trash. Just like with credit cards, it is advised that you tear up any document that contains your valuable data so that identity theft criminals will not be able to access them.

7. Transact with secure servers only. Secure servers protect your information and if you want to know if you are indeed on a secure server, check for a lock icon at the bottom or upper part of your browser or check for HTTPS instead of the usual HTTP.

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