How to Protect Your Identity
After a slight decline in recent years, identity is on the rise yet again. In the last year alone, more than 11 million consumers were victims of identity theft. Some reports say to identity theft carries a cost average of $5,000 per victim. But there are ways that you can protect against identity theft and becoming a victim yourself that can cost you very little time or money.
- Protect Your Passwords. One common mistake most people make comes in the form of the passwords they use for their personal accounts. Don’t use the same password for every account. Also, don’t use your last name, or the name of a loved one as a password. This information is very easy to come by. So for your own security, come up with a unique password that you can easily remember, but isn’t obvious to anyone else.
- Watch Your Email. Some people don’t realize how easy it is to gain access to someone’s personal information just through a simple email. If you receive an e-mail from a stranger, or an organization you are not familiar with, don’t click any links inside that are included. Hidden inside these links can be a keystroke logger. Identity thieves use these to track websites and can be used to get your passwords to important information.
- Shred Documents. Shredding documents with any personal information is a powerful solution to theft protection. Where people sometimes make mistakes, is not shredding their documents enough. Make sure your documents are to a point where no information can be read of them, or so they won’t be able to be reassembled. Never put these items in your outside garbage until it is ready to be picked up,
- Don’t Copy Documents On Digital Public Copiers. Making copies of these important documents on a digital printer such as there makes you extremely vulnerable. The information can be easily retrieved from the device’s hard drive at later dates. Also, ways remember, once information is digitized, it is almost impossible to eliminate it forever.
- Be Mindful When Paying Your Bills. It is an everyday occurrence for people to place their bills or other documents in their home mailboxes. This can put you at risk because anyone can take the documents from the box. Use a secured, locked USPS dropbox to minimize the number of people your documents come in contact with.
If you feel or know that you are a victim of identity theft, call Fast Guard Services for a consultation on identity theft protection services.