Friday, June 12, 2015

Making Yourself a Less Likely Target for Identity Thieves

The scariest part of identity theft is that thieves don't discriminate - you may become a victim at any time or place, no matter who or where you are. Despite their sophisticated methods of obtaining access to the information of others, it is possible to make yourself and your accounts less likely targets by simply changing a few things - and adopting new practices. While each of the following suggestions may seem like common sense and like they cannot possibly do much good, the truth is the exact opposite - it's quite simple to make your information more secure and less likely to be compromised by even the most deceptive and clever thieves.

- Keep passwords complicated and rotating. These types of changes may seem like they will be difficult to keep track of, but at the same time, they can mean the difference between thieves having unfiltered access to your most personal and secret information. By changing the passwords often, you'll ensure that even if a thief does manage to get in, they'll be kicked out as soon as things change, ensuring that they cannot do any further damage. There are even identity theft monitoring services like password keepers that allow users to enter in all of the important information, updating it as necessary so that even with changing passwords, there is less of a chance that things will be forgotten.

- Don't give information out to people that shouldn't have it - or don't need it. This restriction includes both family and friends, because even the most trustworthy individuals can be forgetful. All it takes is for one account to stay logged in on a shared device for thieves to find their way in. The safest way to ensure that your information stays private is to keep the number of people that can access it to a minimum - especially when dealing with bank accounts and finances. Although identity details are useful to thieves, most of them are simply after money.

- Only use trusted websites and answer questions for trusted sources. Ensuring that you're using a secure website while shopping or paying bills will keep your information safer - including your address and phone number. This also holds true for phone calls or emails asking for money, details or personal information. If you're the recipient of a phone call or email that asks for a Social Security number, credit card information, password or even  proof of identity, be wary about answering any of these questions right off the bat. Contact the business or company that the call or email is from and ask if they are truly asking for the information - if you're the one making the contact, you can verify that you're speaking to or communicating with a legitimate source before providing any personal information.

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