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Practical Ways to Prevent Identity Theft

By Ruth Racey
Published: Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Identity theft is one of the most serious crimes since your identity can be used by a scammer to rob you of money. Identity fraud can also cause extreme emotional damage to a victim who has suffered this crime. While there are no absolute ways you protect yourself from identity theft, there are a few ways you can safe guard your own interests. The following paragraphs will help you understand some practical ways to protect yourself from crimes like identity theft. 

Watch Out For Piggy Back Riders or Shoulder Surfers 

While using the Atm it is important to beware of people who stick very close to you while you are entering your pin. These people often overlook your pin and use the help of mobiles and other devices to save the data. If the person who is sticking close to you is a scammer then he will most definitely find ways to access your bank account and withdraw money. He may rummage through your trash for ids so that he can contact the bank posing as you. 

Be Cautious While Using the Internet 

The internet has definitely helped people in many ways but the internet has also made us susceptible to online crimes like identity theft. While using the internet on your own computer you should install a firewall that prevents hackers from accessing your account. If you are using a shared computer then you should remember never to check the remember passwords box. You should also remember to log out of all your accounts after you are done using a shared computer. 

Dispose of Information in a Safe Way 

If you are going to trash your computer then you should make sure that the computer you are trashing does not contain any personal information. You should format the hard drive and keep the device with you when you dispose the computer. It is recommended to keep your hard drive with you while trashing your computer is because there are many software programs that can restore information from formatted hard drives. While disposing printer material you should either shred the documents or cut the documents into many pieces. You should also cut up old credit cards into 6 or more pieces so that no one can use the credit card after you. 

Keep Your Important Id Proof At Home 

Your social security card should always be kept in a safe place at home. If you feel that you will need your social security number then you should make a mental note of the number rather than carrying the card with you. The social security card can be misused in many ways and be used for crimes like identity theft.

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