There are plenty of services out there that can help you prevent identity theft. There are many sites that can help block data-brokers from distributing your personal information and thus prevent scammers from gaining possession of it. These sites are great forms of prevention, but you shouldn’t be complacent just because you subscribe to such a service; there are still plenty of little things you can do on your own in order to prevent identity theft from happening to you. First off, when you are paying a bill, never just put it in the mailbox for the carrier to pick up. The information on the bill and on your check (if you are paying by check) or credit card is all the information a crook needs to take advantage of your identity. Instead of having all your personal information waiting in your mailbox for a thief to grab, you should pay your bills online or pay them directly. If you need to mail a bill, drop it off at the post office.
Some other tips for how to prevent identity theft are to reduce the information that you carry with you daily, think before you speak, and tell the proper authorities immediately if you have been a victim of a purse-snatcher or pick-pocket.
By leaving unneeded personal information at home, if your wallet or purse gets stolen, better that the thief gets one credit card than four and your social security card. If this happens to you, place a fraud alert or credit freeze on your credit report right away. Also, by thinking before you speak or click, you’re actually preventing identity theft.
Most importantly, you must figure out how to avoid identity theft when you are online. There is no exact science to preventing identity theft, especially online, but by building up knowledge on the subject, you are giving yourself the best opportunity to avoid it. By learning about the popular phishing scams online, you are going to know what to look out for.
Just because you are on the computer, doesn’t mean you are safe. Some people assume because they can’t see anyone, there is no one out there, possibly even following their movements. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, identity theft Internet style is increasing daily and new scams are being thought up as you read this.
Until the thieves stop (which won’t be anytime soon, trust me), you need to pay attention to everything you click online. The next wrong button you press could be the one that jeopardizes your personal information and identity!