Thursday, October 29, 2015

Ways to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

identity theft

There are stories on the news every day about different crimes that get committed - kidnappings, murders, robberies and even home invasions are becoming almost second nature to people, and while they are shocking, their occurrences are not surprising. One type of crime that doesn't always get the heightened amount of exposure is identity theft, which is extremely common. This type of crime can happen anywhere and to anyone; it doesn't matter whether or not you have large amount of money or a prominent place in the community, the thieves will still do their best to access what is yours in an attempt to benefit from it. In an effort to combat this type of crime, there are many different methods available to those that choose to use them; some of which are listed below.

Credit Monitors

This type of service is meant to provide protection of your finances by monitoring your credit files. When provided with the proper and up to date information, this type of service is available to go monitor your credit information and notify you of certain changes that could indicate identity theft so that you may take appropriate action. Though the results will be different for everyone, it is a huge asset to have an "early warning" system in place, which is what this type of program provides - when you use it, you'll no longer have to wait monthly to check transactions, yearly for a credit report, or remember to log in to each account daily... this service takes care of things for you.

Identity Monitors

Much like a credit monitoring service, an identity monitor is a service that protects against one of the types of identity theft. Many thieves find information to be almost as valuable as money, meaning that they will target things like names, addresses and Social Security numbers instead of funds. These details are what separate people from each other, and having them compromised in any way can be a huge hassle. Working much like a credit monitor, this service relies on monitoring information in order, and then alerts you when certain types of charges are detected. You'll need to act when this is brought to your attention, but knowing is half the battle.

Changing Passwords

Whether on a cell phone, tablet or computer, passwords are necessary for many different things. Changing these codes often is only one of the free ways that you can work to prevent identity theft from possibly happening, even though it may feel like a lot of trouble. When you consider the alternatives - stolen information and compromised funds - taking the time to change around your passwords every few months will not seem like such a big deal.  When changing these codes, it's important to choose things that cannot easily be guessed in order to further deter the thieves and protect your information.

Using Secure Sites and Applications

It can be difficult to differentiate between safe and unsafe sites, but this can be done if enough care is taken. The likelihood of becoming a victim of one of the types of identity theft is increased if you practice unsafe Internet habits, so you need to have definite control over this aspect of your online persona. Don't download or install things just because they look fun or you are prompted to; do some research and ensure that they are legitimate and not scams - this can save you the time and effort of working backwards from theft or information leaks. Dealing with theft of identity is no joke, so knowing about identify theft and how to avoid it can be a great tool to combat the likelihood of becoming a victim.

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