Identity theft is rampant these days. Anyone with a computer and enough gall can accomplish it, regardless of their intellectual prowess, and so bank accounts are being ruptured – and drained – with alarming regularity, but it is preventable with such services as LifeLock or Identity Guard.
The next time someone asks you for your phone number, full name, or financial information, stop and ask yourself why do they need to know this? Then, stop and ask the person inquiring – why do you need to know this?
Identity thieves ask for important information, knowing that more often than not they will get a thoughtless, automatic response. So be vigilant about who you hand that information out to, and you might save yourself a lot of trouble.
One method of identity theft is to take mail directly out of a mailbox. Don’t make it easy for them. Always drop your mail off at the post office instead of leaving it in your mailbox, and when you go on vacation, make sure you have your mail held instead of letting it pile up for thieves to take.
Don’t leave bills lying around where anyone can see them, and keep your personal information, such as credit cards, stored away safely.
Most identity theft occurs online. Be smart about online financial transactions. Install firewalls and make sure the sites you’re spending money on are secure sites. Use creative passwords – random sequences of letters and numbers work best – and don’t give your financial information to just anyone
It’s hard to stop a criminal once they set their mind to committing a crime. But you can make yourself less likely to be a victim, and safeguard your financial well-being, credit history, and identity by being vigilant with the ultimate identity protection. As a result, you end up making sure you’re the only one spending your money.
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We take for granted the fact that our little pieces of plastic just may be the keys to our true prized possessions: our identities. But why are we so casual about our credit cards then? After all, they’re just plastic flash cards with obscure numbers on them, and it’s hard to believe anyone could steal our identities just from copying down those numbers. Security’s pretty steely these days, we think, so how can any hacker do anything without actually stealing our credit cards? And even then, there are precautions taken for anyone using a stolen credit card. Yet, we should still be worried….
That one little credit card has all the pertinent information a hacker or identity theft aficionado would need — your credit card number, expiration date, your name, and your security code. When you think about it, that’s really all thieves would need.
Therefore, whenever you hand your credit card or debit card to anyone — even a waitress — you run the slight risk that the person just might be a cyber-criminal of the worst kind — committing identity fraud and stealing your resources, your assets, your everything, simply by copying numbers down.
It doesn’t take much effort to steal someone’s information. Identity thieves aren’t stupid, unlike some idiots out there. A thief doesn’t necessarily have to steal the actual card. What’s important is the information. More importantly, grocery lines are ripe pickings for identity theft as anyone with a smartphone could simply snap a picture on the other side of a line while the cashier’s not looking, get the numbers from the credit card or debit card swiped, and then use that information to purchase a new car or something. It’s that simple.
Be careful, please. You’re walking around with a giant vault, unlocked, and loaded with not only all the cash you have on you, but all the potential you have in securing loans and new lines of credit. Not a whole lot of financial quality control to work with there. Current credit lines, too, are in danger. When you think about it, it’s not that hard for an identity thief to get a hold of your information.
You’re never 100% risk-free. Just remember that. You can even have a stolen-card policy with your credit card company, but it won’t matter as long as the criminal has your information. Make it a point to get in with the ultimate identity protection service out there, or LifeLock especially. Identity theft is the most dangerous crime in the U.S. these days — and your credit card has now earned another notch on your belt as your biggest weakness!
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