Anybody could encounter identity theft issues. We understand that 7 out of 100 people in the United States above 16 years of age become victims of identity theft a minimum of once every year. The consistency of these statistics throughout the last few years should be enough for you to spring into action and take proactive steps to safeguard yourself against identity theft. However, you must be aware of some of the glaring mistakes to avoid if you wish to stay protected from this sort of a grave cybercrime.
We find that identity theft has reached epidemic levels as per a reputed fraud prevention group. They feel that individuals in their 30s would be the most impacted by these cybercriminals.
According to FTCI, as many as 9 million people in the U.S.A. have become victims of identity theft and around 534 million personal records seem to have been compromised via attacks on government bodies, business databases, organizations, and institutions since 2005. As far as, certain consumers are concerned, identity theft seems to be a highly irritating and exasperating inconvenience that could be resolved and restored quickly by them. For some others, it may take thousands of dollars and several months to recover their identity. Identity theft could prove to be quite damaging and disastrous for your reputation because you could be losing job opportunities. We know that identity theft could lead to phenomenal damage to your reputation and could trigger rejection of all your loan applications for homes, schools, or cars.
Mistake: You Fail To Use Unique and Strong Passwords for Logging into Online Accounts
Thanks to social networking, online banking, and the cloud, most of your life has become digitalized and is very much online. Hackers are waiting to steal your personal information or identity by gaining unauthorized access to your online accounts. Remember that your password is supposed to be like a protective shield, a powerful line of defense against identity theft. Hence, do not make the mistake of setting up a weak password that could be easily hacked by the criminals. Setting up unique and strong passwords is the way to go.
Mistake: Your Gadgets & Software Are Not Updated with the Most Recent Patches
Remember you could keep your gadgets and devices including your computer completely safe from attacks. You must focus on installing all the latest updates at the earliest possible especially if they aim to fix security issues and bugs. You must keep your router and smart appliances updated with all firmware and the latest patches. You could enjoy free credit monitoring with the help of certain software.
Mistake: Not Bothering to Guard Your Mail
Thieves are in the habit of combing through mailboxes in the neighborhood looking for mail containing financial or personal information particularly pre-filled credit cards and even tax-associated documents. People often become victims of cybercrime because of their callousness. You have no business to leave your mail unprotected and vulnerable. Do not invite hackers. Do not leave your mailbox unsafe and unguarded. The best way is to wait for the mail carrier and at once pick up your mail.
Mistake: You Throw Sensitive Documents Away
Identity thieves are used to targeting dumpsters and trashcans in search of sensitive information. For preventing this, you must not throw away any critical information or vital data in the trash. Use a crosscut shredder for shredding your important documents. For added protection of your personal information, you may transfer your shredded documents to a recycling agency. This should be minimizing the risk of identity thieves taking away shredded files to reassemble the documents.
Mistake: You Are Not In the Habit of Checking Your Credit Reports or Bank Statements
You do not bother to examine your bank statements or credit reports regularly. You may have stopped going through paper statements altogether and simply go through the documents online. This gives the identity thieves the golden opportunity to steal your identity.
You must keep track of all these mistakes so that you are able to minimize the chances of identity theft.