Identity theft can be one of the most destructive crimes to a victim’s way of life. Not only do you lose your money as a victim, you may lose your belongings, your home, and your peace of mind. It can completely throw your life off-track for years to come. This is why identity theft prevention is so essential to your life.
There are so many news articles and stories around the world detailing the destruction caused by identity theft, and the regret of having no identity theft prevention in place. These heartless thieves will do anything they can to steal your name, and make it theirs while they commit untold crimes.
Your identity needs protecting, and your first line of defense against these thieves is you. The key to your identity theft prevention is smart handling of your important information, and how observant you are.
Here are 5 keys to identity theft prevention that you must follow to protect yourself, and those you love from disaster:
1. Survey the area around the ATM before you use it. Make sure that you are not being watched while you are on the ATM making your transactions. Also, check for any equipment attached to the ATM illegally, as this is a serious threat to your identity theft prevention. These devices usually have cameras on them that record your PIN as you enter it. There have been reports of electronic devices attached to the ATM’s card slot. So be observant of anything that looks odd to you, because your intuition is probably correct.
2. Be sure to check your statements every month. Every transaction on the statement must be reviewed and approved by you. This is key to identity theft prevention, as most people never check their statements, and thus never realize they’ve been victims of identity theft. If there are charges that you don’t recognize, notify your credit institution immediately and have them look into it.
3. Securely store all of your checks. Checks are one of the biggest threats to your identity theft prevention, especially if they are lost. They contain your account information, name, usually an address, and sometimes people write their social security number on their checks. You should never do this, as this is almost asking to have your identity stolen.
4. If you have any personal documents in your car, keep them hidden properly.
It is great identity theft prevention to never have any of your information in view, and to avoid having any information in your car in the first place. If you do, store it in your glove box and keep it locked.
5. Make sure that your cell phone and laptop are only used by you. These are personal gadgets, so keeping them personal is necessary identity theft prevention. Protect the information in your phone and computer with passwords.
Taking control over the availability and access of your identity is to take control of your life. Don’t be a victim of a thief, and take your identity theft prevention serious.
Claire Martin is a freelance writer and content provider for the blog network, Hive Health Media. In addition to writing, Claire is passionate about healthy living and nutrition as enjoys researching natural treatments for arthritis.