According to some rather alarming statistics, at least 33% of US adults have experienced identity theft, with another Javelin study showing an average damage per victim of $1,100. When compared to the cost of paying for the identity theft protection service, it is worth paying for it.
Learn more about identity theft, but there is no guaranteed way to stop it, and monitoring services only tell you about it after something has gone wrong. But here are things you can do to prevent identity theft from you or your family.
How to Prevent Identity Theft
Never give out personal information over the phone unless you are sure who is calling. If it is a company that you do business with, they will already have your name and number in their database. If they call to verify this information, ask them if they can call back later and provide you with your caller ID. They will ask for your number, and you can ask them for your number. If they don’t want to do this, first ask them why they are calling and ask them to remove your number from their list of potential customers.
Do not carry your Social Security card with you unless necessary. The Social Security number is used to create bank accounts, get a job, and receive benefits. Someone with your social security number can use it to commit Identity Theft.
Keep a photocopy of your driver’s license or passport and store it in a safe place at home or with you when you travel. If it gets lost, you’ll have a copy.
Use protection gadgets like signal jammers to protect your security. The signal jammer can block the specified signals to disrupt the data transmissions. For example, a wifi jammer can block the wireless network so that digital criminals can’t hack into your computers or laptops. It would be best if you turned on the wifi jammer when you were not at home or the office. That ensures no wifi signal is open for the hackers to steal everything from you. The Wifi jammers can also block Bluetooth connections. Bluetooth connections are also a loophole for identity theft. Turning off your Bluetooth connections when you are not using them is very important. You can also block the entire Bluetooth system with a wifi jammer. That can 100% ensure you are safe from any hackers.
Do not save passwords on your computer or the Internet. Use a password manager app to create and store secure passwords. Use letters and numbers that you can remember instead of words so that if someone breaks into your computer, they can’t read them. Change it frequently for added security, especially if you use the same password to sign in to different online accounts.
Keep your wallet in a safe place, not in your back pocket or somewhere you can easily get it.
Destroy all personal information documents before discarding them, including bank statements, credit card statements, medical bills, or prescriptions.
Use ATMs inside banks (in the bank building) instead of ATMs near stores.
Use a safe for the mail delivered instead of just leaving it at your door.
Cancel any subscriptions you do not use or will not use in the future, along with information about yourself during the payment process (phone books, magazines, etc.).
Do not post personal information online, especially your date of birth.
Keep a list of all credit cards and their phone numbers if you lose them or steal them, and notify your bank immediately. Unfortunately, there are many ways that people steal money by cheating banks and giving them money from someone else’s account.
If you’re getting a new credit card, check your statements for previous months. to find out if any transactions were made without your consent. Report them as soon as possible so they don’t charge you, and it will also prevent anyone from withdrawing money from your account in the future using a card you don’t have. Credit card companies will investigate every person who tries to open an account with a credit card. This can take months, but if they are legit, they will get your card, and if not, then the bank can close the account right away or at least stop this person from using it in the future.
When shopping online, try to shop on sites you are familiar with. I prefer not to give out my credit card information unless necessary. You can also use PayPal when making online purchases because their system is very secure and will ensure the account is yours before allowing the transaction.
Remove partial credit card numbers when recording credit card information. Sometimes when writing down a credit card number, you will have to write the beginning of it and then maybe the last 4 digits, but removing the middle is important in case someone gets your notes or invoices and can still use that information.
Close old accounts if they are no longer in use because people with bad intentions can access them and use them to make purchases.
Always check the site’s SSL certificate (that the site uses HTTPS://) before making online payments or entering personal information on a new site because sometimes scammers create very well done sites. It looks like the site you want to visit. But the only thing is that they will enter your information on their server instead of the legitimate one.
Do not open or follow links in phishing emails. If you are unsure about the legitimacy of an email asking for personal information or money, contact the company directly, there is no reason for someone to email you about a transaction you did not make unless they are trying to scam you.