Recycling Bins a Target for ID Thieves
Identity thieves are relentless in their pursuit of your personal information. They’re going through garbage cans, recycling bins, and targeting your email to gain access to identifying information they can use for their purposes. Whatever those purposes may be. From the dark web to your backyard, it is more important than ever to be mindful of the information you make available to others and protect your identity, your finances, and your good name.
Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft
Prevention is the best cure. It’s a tired old statement that has survived this long because it’s true. While there are no guarantees when it comes to preventing identity theft in light of all the high-profile breaches that have occurred in recent years, there are things you can do that will make it more difficult for ID thieves to get a full picture of who you are for their evil purposes. Doing these things can be highly beneficial.
- Keep your Social Security Number (SSN) safe. Don’t carry it on your purpose and keep it locked up safely in your home.
- Don’t give out identifying information (SSN, date of birth, bank account numbers, etc.) without an excellent reason for doing so.
- Collect your mail daily rather than allowing it to sit. If you’re going out of town, place a hold on your mail until you return.
- Reconcile your bills monthly to make sure that nothing is amiss. Identity theft is a problem that only seems to be growing as ID thieves become more sophisticated and aggressive. Protect yourself with these steps.
- Enable security features for email, mobile phones, etc.
- Shred everything. The more things you shred, the more difficult it is for ID thieves to piece them back together.
- Use complex, unique passwords for all your accounts.
Plus, review your credit report annually and report anything that seems off. Being proactive in protecting your information and good name can spare you a great deal of headaches and heartache, not to mention money.
Many businesses, hoping to reduce the frequency of identity theft issues and to protect consumers are investing in identity verification systems that help to prevent fraud and confirm identities for a wide range of purposes. Unfortunately, consumers can’t always rely on businesses to help protect their identities. The steps above, however, can aid greatly in your efforts to defend your identity. The more of those steps consumers take, the greater their protection from identity thieves.