Monday, June 15, 2009

Protect your Identity

The world is a witnessing a phenomenal increase in identity theft cases. People are worried about the statistics. However, it is not very tough to protect your identity. You need to keep in mind that giving away personal details can be hazardous for your financial life.

There are three major types of id thefts - phone fraud, bank fraud and credit card fraud. Using one of these methods these criminals gain access to your credit information, purchase items and open new credit cards in your name by pretending to be you, thus ruining your credit record. Here are a few ways that can protect you from these thieves.

• Avoid bringing all your credit cards wherever you go.

Limit the number of cards you carry, you won’t lose much in case you are robbed. Also make sure that you don’t bring with you records of PINs and passwords.

• Lock credit profiles at the credit bureaus.

The government gives you the right to call the credit bureaus and request them to freeze your accounts in case of ID thefts. Hence, no new credit activities can be done without your consent and no individual or company can gain access to your credit profile without your permission. This step is very crucial because it closes one of the avenues for thieves to get your personal details.

• Get a Post Office box

This is a locked mailbox that keeps your mails safe, especially from thieves. Once you have this secure mailbox, make sure that your cheques, bills, and other important mails are sent to this box.

• Be careful while giving away your personal information.

At times giving away personal details on the internet is necessary and unavoidable. Make sure that the person or company you’re dealing with is genuinely legitimate. Before typing in your credit card number, make sure that the site’s URL starts with “http”. Check for the closed padlock symbol at the bottom right hand corner of your browser. If this symbol appears, then your browser is strongly connected to that website.

Check your credit report with

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