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Credit Education > Identity Theft > Protecting yourself from identity theft

Protecting yourself from identity theft

By Janet Lacey
Published: Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

For a victim who suffers some kind of loss, getting the culprit punished offers some solace. But there are certain times this will not be possible. This is specially in cases of identity theft. The culprits would have used the victim’s identity for all his offenses. Eventually, any investigation would point a finger at the victim seething with anger and frustration over the loss. The investigation would take days together only to give us unsatisfactory results.

The best thing to do for any of us is to avoid such a situation in the first place. Each of us has the responsibility of safe guarding our identity information. It is we who are to be blamed most of the times when our identity information is compromised. We must be very cautious about all the documents and other sources of identity information. Trusting strangers is another common mistake that many make. Looks can be deceptive and the person who you thought looked decent and helpful may have been so only because he wanted the information from you.

We are subject to many malpractices when it comes to using the computer. Not all of us are computer geeks, and even the technologically sound people fall prey to viruses that get installed on their systems and leads to their information being compromised. We should take special care when using a public system. We must make sure we have logged out completely before we leave the computer. Also, it is not right on our part to save any files or information in the public computer since it can be accessed by just anyone around.

When it comes to passwords, many of us do not prove ourselves wise. We tend to choose simple passwords so they are easy to remember or so that we can type less. But this leads to many unnecessary problems. When the passwords can be guessed easily, the hackers will make merry at the amount of information they can gain about you. Another common mistake made is that people who have multiple passwords to remember tend to store it in a file on the computer. This is not a good practice. If ever you are compelled to do such a thing, you must make sure that the file, in turn is password protected or is encrypted in come form. The advantage of encrypting the file is that the person who does access the file will not be given access to any sensible information.

When you need to carry some documents along with you, make sure you keep a count of all the documents you are carrying. It is better to carry only those that are necessary. It is necessary to keep the document in the right place, which means it has to be easy to remember but difficult for any third party to lay hands on them. The only person who you can trust to safe guard your information is yourself. So take responsibility for your possessions and ensure that they are far from the intruder’s hands.

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