Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Protecting Identity Theft

Identity theft is one of those crimes that has been swelling at a steady pace through out America. It is important to guard yourselves against this amplifying crime else you could end up ruining your financial life.

In order to protect self from identity theft you need keep a regular record of your credit activities and stay watchful all the time. Some precautionary measures are as follows

Don’t give away your S.S.N when you are not sure enough: In some cases it is important to give your S.S.N but you perhaps already know when it is required in daily life to give your S.S.N to a person. However, at times there are cases when a person asks for you S.S.N on the phone or on the internet, it is then, that you need to be aware of theft. Giving away the S.S.N on the internet is not a good idea as it becomes accessible to the tech savvy thieves sitting in front of the computer. Similarly you should make sure that the S.S.N is genuinely required by the person who is asking for it. Know the reason before giving your social security number to anybody.

Be careful while making checks: It is not a good practice to write your driving license or Social Security number on checks. This way the thief is presented with even more opportunity. In some states it is illegal to write credit card numbers on the check. Make sure that you don’t write any such information on your check that makes you vulnerable to identity theft.

Check your credit report regularly: Checking your credit report regularly helps determining if there has been any mischief in your financial dealings. If you encounter inaccuracies you should contact the bureaus at once and inform them of the mistakes. Credit reports are availed to every American free of cost once a year. Make sure that you get your hands on your credit report and check for credit activities not carried out or performed by you.

Be careful while creating pins and passwords: Make sure that you create unique PINs and passwords. Avoid using the sequence of digits in your S.S.N, your credit card number or your driver license. Also avoid using your middle name, your birth date or your mother’s name. If your passwords or PINs include the above, you should change it as soon as possible as it is cake walk for thieves these days to crack such passwords and PIN codes.

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