Identity Theft, Identity Theft Protection, ID Theft
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How You Can Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

By Amanda Randell
Published: Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Identity theft is a very evil crime which is nearing the top spot of the most common online crimes in the world. Basically, it involves your identity being used on a crime which would harm you emotionally and financially. 

In the United States, there are millions of people affected yearly. Hundreds of thousands are monthly victimized. A whopping 27,000 people each day which amounts to 1 stolen identity every 3 seconds. With these statistics mentioned, it is a must to have identity theft protection. Along with the increasing rate of identity theft crimes, banks and financial institutions have developed security measures such as user ID and passwords security, firewalls, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption, and others more to shield them from financial losses. 

However, the responsibility of having identity theft protection does not rely on the financial services alone. Each individual must have it. As a matter of fact, an individual could make use of a few ways in order to counter identity theft. These are: 

  • Never ever give your PIN numbers! One thing that destroys the shield of identity theft protection is the sharing of PIN numbers of ATM cards. This is a big opening in which the thieves would not hesitate to grab the chance.
  • Social Security numbers and credit card numbers must not be shared to someone whom you do not know either personally (friend, relative, family) or officially (government officials, lawyers).
  • When getting rid of your legal documents, make sure that you do not throw them away whole. Thieves look into trash bins for their victims. It is best to make use of shredders. Shred not only papers, but also other forms of media such as CD’s which could contain personal info. Shred them vertically and horizontally.
  • Check all the account reports and credit reports that are sent to you. Every detail of your account statements and credit reports must be checked thoroughly. This is because there are common errors of ignoring the reports then people would realize that their credits are going larger. Thieves might have stolen your identity already! Also, be sure to know when your bills and account statements arrive. If you encounter a week (the week in which you should receive your statements) in which your report is not delivered, contact your provider ASAP. This is to ensure that they would be informed in case it was a case of theft. Activities of the account would be tracked down.
  • Get the best identity theft protection offered in your vicinity. Nothing beats professional help. However, you must not bite immediately to the sales talk of majority of the companies. You must check a few things about the company in which you should apply for identity theft protection. These are:
    • Good track record – A company which has honest services must have a good deal of performance history.
    • Protection methods – Inquire about the methods they use. Their protection services must be up-to-date and top-of-the-line.
    • Range of Protection – The Company must not focus the protection on you alone, but also your whole immediate family.
    • Value – The services of identity theft protection must fulfill its whole value with regards to how much you pay.
    • Other Services – Check if there are other services offered b the company which could be bundled up into one plan along with the protection.

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