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Protecting yourself from identity theft

By Janet Lacey
Published: Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Becoming a victim of identity theft is something that is unpleasant and should be avoided at all costs. The problem with become a victim of identity theft is that it gets challenging to catch the culprit. Unlike other crimes where one can trace the criminal using details from the crime, you can’t use any of the details in this case as it is going to simply point back to the victim. Hence, law enforcing agencies often have a tough time in trying to apprehend the person who committed the crime as they don’t have adequate knowledge regarding the person.

But, you can help make it easier by taking precaution on your hand beforehand. Identity theft victims are often lax about their personal security and readily provide personal information that can be traced back to them without thinking twice about the consequences. This is what ultimately causes them to become victims, as they make it very easy for the criminals to use their personal details. If all of us were a little more cautious, identity theft would’ve probably been a very different thing altogether.  There would have been far fewer criminals as it would’ve become more challenging to steal personal information and consequently steal the identity.

Whenever you are using your computer, remember to always logout and only provide information when you trust the source. Don’t go around publishing information about yourself as it is bound to backfire and land you into trouble. Additionally, you should also restrict yourself from revealing too much since it is not necessary to provide all the details every time you go online. Furthermore, use services like PayPal for online shopping, as these kinds of services help protect details of your bank account and hence prevent you from becoming a victim at a later stage.

Keep all your important identity documents safely and don’t let it be exposed unnecessarily. Remember that you don’t have to carry everything with you unless you really need it. Even in that case, you might only have to carry your state ID with you. Things like social security numbers should be stored in a safe place that is known only by you, as this one number is adequate to cause financial havoc. Hence, it is very advisable to keep such confidential documents away at a safe place that is not going to be accessed by unknown people. Preferably, keep it in a safe deposit box or something along those lines as you are seldom going to need this document on a daily basis.     

Taking adequate protection of your identity is absolutely vital to ensure that you are not going to be a victim of identity theft. Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of this and end up paying the price for it. Since information regarding this is available at multiple sources, you should make it a habit to read it and ensure that you are informed about it. Don’t become a victim of it due to negligence, as it is rather difficult to trace the extent of the crime in this case.

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