Identity Theft, Identity Theft Protection, ID Theft
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Keeping Identity Theft at Bay

By Amanda Randell
Published: Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

In a recent study more than 12 million people were listed as being victims of identity theft in the year 2012 only. Sadly over 40 percent of the US population thinks that identity fraud is just a ruse by identity theft service providers to get clients. This is clearly not the case as indicated by the aforementioned cases of ID fraud. There is no iron-clad way of avoiding Identity fraud as you never know ‘the what’ or ‘the where’ that will make you vulnerable to ID theft. However one thing is always precedes ID theft and that is ‘data breaches’. If your Social Security number is compromised you are 5 times more likely to be a victim of identity theft. Despite what your odds are there are measures that you can take to keep ID fraud at bay.

Monitor Your Accounts

It may sound paranoid or even lame but nothing beats a simple regular checking of your accounts to monitor credit use. All investments should be monitored and nurtured. Your credit account is no different. Make a habit of constantly checking your account and check for any discrepancy. It may be tiresome but may save you lots of dollars.

Have a Damage Control Program

Most public and private companies and organizations that suffer data breaches offer identity theft monitoring services to clients for two years after the data breach has taken place. It would be foolhardy not accept such offers given that you 5 times more likely to be a victim of ID theft. Insurance agencies, banks and credit unions offer customers credit check services at a nominal fee. It would not hurt to pay a small fee to ensure your finances and personal information is not compromised.

Take Data Breaches Seriously

More than 46 states in the US have laws that govern organizations that collect Personally Identifiable information (PII). These organizations are required by law to inform all victims of a data breach as soon as it occurs. Data breaches precede identity theft so take these notifications seriously. Over 50% of consumers who receive data breach notifications sadly constitute the actual victims of identity fraud.

Identity theft can be likened to flu. You may take all the precautions but if you are at the wrong place at the wrong time you will be affected. Similar to flu the strains are ever changing so ensure you are updated on the various methods fraudsters are using to access you personal information. The earlier you identify ID fraud the better so no matter how small the effect ensure you squash it early.

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