Identity Theft, Identity Theft Protection, ID Theft
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How can you prevent Identity Theft?

By Amanda Randell
Published: Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

The best way to prevent identity theft is to make sure that all your personal information is intact. Your social security number must always be kept in a private place and secured. It is that one number that is very susceptible to identity theft. As in health, we can say that “Prevention is better than cure.” The problem with identity theft is that once you are victimized, it will take you months or even years to recover your papers. It will involved time consuming and exasperating effort of paper work, affidavits, lawyer’s fee and many more.

So here are the basic tips to prevent identity theft:

Keep all your personal information is a safe and private place. You must be able to control and monitor the few people who can have access to your personal files. You have to know what type of information is highly sensitive. For example your PIN number on your ATM and other financial assets must never be known by anyone else. In case of emergency that you have to let someone use your ATM and give that person your PIN number, change your PIN number as soon as you are able to. In cases where you have to tell your PIN number over the phone or through texting, you have to change your PIN right after. The same is true with all your passwords. Even your passwords in the computer or your email address are very sensitive. Why? Because identity thieves might scour your files looking for clues to discover your PIN and passwords to your online banking activities and others.

Your social security number and your bank account number are very sensitive information. If this information goes to the wrong hands, your life can be wrecked. And it will take you long to recover.

Your Mother’s maiden name and date of birth is moderately sensitive. This is the information that banks usually get to double check on you. It is also better to keep your name, birthplace, birthday, address, email address and phone numbers known only to a limited number of people. Even if these information are not very sensitive, they can be used to pry on you. They will open doors to other sensitive information.

When you have lost your credit cards and other important papers, contact the bank and other concerned institutions immediately. Don’t procrastinate and waste time thinking that you may find them in a day or two. It is better and easier to change cards now and lessen the possible damage.

It is always best not to put your important papers and credit cards in your wallet. Why? Wallets are easily misplaced. Wallets are easily stolen. You can ask anybody if there ever was a time that they lost their wallets, chances are, they would say yes. An average man on the street has already lost his wallet once or twice in his life. Don’t wait for that to happen. Secure all your important personal information and credit cards in a safe place.

Don’t ever give out personal information to strangers on the phone, in the internet, chat mates etc. In this world of cyberspace, you don’t really know who you are talking to. Remember, identity thieves are sweet talkers. Identity theft happens in the least way you expect it to happen. Be vigilant always.

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