How to Prevent Identity Theft?

Identity Theft is a increasing problem and can hurt us very badly. If we can take some precautions, we can sure avoid such theft. Here are some of the precautionary measures one can follow to avoid identity theft.

Personal Information

  1. Do not share your Social Security, Passport, Date of Birth, Driver’s License other Personal Information to strangers.
  2. Do not send your Social Security, Passport and other information by E-Mail or Text message to anybody. Not even to your spouse.
  3. Do not leave your personal information written unattended.
  4. Shred all your unwanted documents and letters that contain your personal information. Do not trash it with your personal information readable.
  5. Do not leave your mails in the mail box for long.

Access Online Accounts, Online Shopping

  1. Avoid accessing your Bank, Credit Card Accounts from a public computer. The information you enter might get stored in the computer’s cache and be accessible to others.
  2. Do not use purchase anything online using credit card or access Bank Accounts when you are in a public non-secure wi-fi area such as Restaurants, Mall, Hospital, Airport etc.

Bank ATM

  1. Use caution when using ATM, make sure no one can see the key pad when you enter your PIN.
  2. Try to memorize your ATM PIN. Do not write down your PIN on your card.
  3. If you want to write it down, make sure it is not accessible by strangers.
  4. Do not send your PIN to anyone by E-Mail or Text Message.
  5. Have different PINs if you have many Bank Accounts.

Passwords

  1. Do not share your password to anybody.
  2. Try to memorize your password than writing it down.
  3. Have a complex password with a minimum of 8 characters long and a combination of Upper case, lower case alphabets, numbers and symbols like $#%&@ etc.
  4. Do not choose “Remember Password” option when accessing your Bank Account or E-Mail from public computers.
  5. Have Unique, Complex Passwords for each of your E-Mail, Bank Accounts and other online accounts.

Stolen Credit Card

  1. If your Credit card or Debit card is stolen, report immediately to the card provider / Bank and deactivate  the card.
  2. Check your statements regularly and dispute any unknown transactions.
  3. Check your credit report at least once a year and dispute if there is any unknown activity.