It is becoming increasingly easy for criminals to obtain the personal information of unsuspecting individuals. Identity theft can occur in physical locations as well as on the Internet. People today need to take steps to reduce the chance of having their personal information fall into the wrong hands. There is surprising information about identity theft which most people are not aware of.
*Most documents containing personal information can be found in your garbage can
*Not all businesses shred their discarded paper documents
*Software tracking programs can go undetected on your computer
Protecting Yourself at Home
One of the easiest ways to obtain information about someone is to look through their garbage.Most cities have certain days set aside for the pick-up of paper products for the purpose of recycling. This makes it even easier for criminals to retrieve information because the paper documents containing information about someone’s bank account or credit cards will usually be found in the paper recycling bin.
Investing in a good paper shredder will reduce the risk of identity theft at home. The thinner the strips of paper the machine can create, the better. Not only should all financial documents be shredded but also old receipts which might contain credit card information. To avoid having people rummage through the recycling bins, keep them stored in a locked area until the day of the scheduled pick-up. It is also important to check with area banks to make sure they also shred their discarded documents.
Protecting Yourself Online
The best way to protect your financial information online is to use a second party payment source. These are service companies set up to work with online merchants in transferring payments from customer bank accounts. While most major companies are affiliated with second party payment services, there are still some which are not. If the merchant offers the option of paying by credit card, check or money order, the safest method will be to use a money order.This payment method has no trace of bank information associated with it.
It is also important to create a user name and password which will not be easily discovered.People all over the world try to hack into the accounts of others by using the most popular passwords they find. These passwords are often the names of cities where people live or even their own names or birth dates.
Another way people obtain information online is by using software programs to track and watch what people do on the Internet. These programs can retrieve information sent over the Internet without anyone knowing about it. The best way to protect against this type of identity theft is to invest in a security software program for the computer. These programs will detect unauthorized software on the system which could be tracking personal information. Investing in a good security program will signifi
cantly reduce the risk of identity theft on the Internet.