From skilled hackers to small-time pickpockets, identity theft is a huge problem today. And it can have lasting impacts on a person’s credit score and their ability to get loans, credit cards, and more. Identity theft can happen to anyone, and it is important for consumers to take certain precautions so they don’t fall victim to it. Although it may not always be possible to prevent it, there are ways to make it harder for thieves to get the information they need.
The first thing to do is keep your personal information private. Many thieves use personal information to obtain more sensitive information about you. So, shred any piece of trash that may have personal information (such as your name and address). Also, don’t give out your password or Social Security number unless you absolutely have to.
Another thing to do is check all your bank statements and credit reports. Analyze these bills for any unauthorized transactions or suspicious activity. Request a free credit report from each of the 3 major credit bureaus each year, and look through it. If you do find something suspicious, it is important to notify your bank and the credit bureau immediately so they can work to fix it.
Last, be careful who you buy from. If you are shopping online, make sure it is a secured website with https and a lock icon in the URL. If not, do not put any personal information. If you are shopping in person, you should use credit, instead of debit, as it offers more secure protections.
Take precautions against identity theft and you’ll hopefully be able to prevent it!