Everyone needs to work to prevent identity theft from happening to them. Any time personal information is taken from someone, it is not just ruined credit that they need to worry about. Innocent individuals have been charged with crimes they did not do because others committed them under their names. Disproving these crimes can be difficult.
Reversing the damage can take a very long time and this is why I want to help you focus on how to prevent Identity Theft. That is why it is best to keep it from happening in the first place. It is hard to guard all information all of the time, but knowing what to do can significantly reduce the chances.
The first step in preventing identity theft is to never disclose a social security number. This is a very important personal identifier and can make theft easy for a thief. If anyone calls via telephone, stating that they are from a particular organization and that the entire social security number needs verified, chances are it is fraud. Most organizations only verify the last 4 digits when they are called. They do not call.
This number should also not be given over the Internet, even if doing so is believed to be safe. If applying for credit cards or similar, the site should have https in the address bar rather than http. This shows that the site is secure and it should be one that a person knows is trusted. The same rules apply to any account numbers. Also have an anti-virus software on the computer to prevent hackers from accessing the computer.
If bills are missing from month-to-month, contact the creditor and ask if they are mailing out statements. Missing bills could be a sign of mail theft and a lot of data can be obtained from a simple bill.
When personal data is present on a form, tear it up if it is not needed later. Never throw away anything that can benefit a thief without tearing it or shredding it first. If something must be kept, a fireproof safe, file cabinet, or lock box can prove to be beneficial.
And individuals should be mindful of what are called skimmers on swipe ATM machines and should also not allow debit and credit cards to go out of their sight when possible. If an ATM slot looks strange, do not use it and try to watch all transactions in stores and restaurants.
Last but not least, credit reports need to be evaluated annually in order to prevent identity theft. Strange activity can be seen and stopped before it becomes a problem. A thief can be stopped quickly and it is possible for them to be caught so that they can never do it again. This is a way to prevent identity theft from happening to others.
The internet has made many things easier for us, but it has also created a whole new venue for con-men. We hope to improve your safety while on the internet with this list of rules. Crooks can destroy our computers or access our personal information unless we learn to protect ourselves. Here’s how to do that.
1. Make sure your computer has a firewall.
Most computers come with a firewall installed. You should customize the privacy
settings, before you start browsing the internet using a new computer. If you have
several computers in your home, you can protect them all using a router with a firewall
installed. Some homeowners find that a secure router is more convenient. Firewalls help
prevent hackers from accessing the information stored in your computer’s memory.
2. Install an anti-virus software program.
Anti-virus software protects against viruses. Viruses are basically a kind of vandalism.
They serve no real purpose. The codes for many viruses are written by practical
jokesters. Once your computer is “infected”, everything seems to slow down.
Other programs may act strangely. Eventually, your system may crash all together.
3. Install an anti-spyware program.
Spyware and viruses are similar, but the purpose is not the same. People install spyware
in order to gain access to your personal information or to use your email address to send
spam to all of your friends.
4. Regularly upgrade the security features of your operating system.
Depending on the type of operating system that you have and the type of web browser
you use, you may receive notifications when upgrades or updates are available. You
should choose the “install now” option. The programs are upgraded regularly, because
hackers are constantly changing the ways they operate. You have to change, too.
These internet safety rules can help you avoid a lot of the common issues people get.
5. Regularly upgrade all of the security software programs mentioned above.
Programs are available to automatically upgrade or update, whenever a new patch or anti-
virus becomes available. If you don’t have an automatic version, you will need to install
the upgrades yourself. Hopefully, the system will notify you when one is available.
6. Choose good passwords and keep them in secure locations.
This might be number six, but it is one of the most important of the top 10 ways to
keep your computer safe online. Hackers have to figure out your passwords in order to
gain access to your system. There are cheap programs that allow them to do that. One
program tries every word in the dictionary.
A robber could enter your home and transfer money from your bank account or steal your
personal information, if they can find your passwords. Either keep your passwords on
your person at all times or store them in a locking box or safe.
Use different passwords for different websites. This will help limit the amount of
information stolen in case you are hacked. You can easily pick the first half of any name
and append a special number to the end to create passwords on the fly that you can recall
easily. Never use your debit pin number for anything online though.
Of all these internet safety rules this one is really important.
Passwords should be 8-10 characters long. Numbers and/or symbols should be included
along with lower case and upper case letters. Don’t use your kid’s names or anything
else that would be easy for a thief to figure out.
Change your passwords every three to six months just to be safe. You can use a
password auto-generator if you can’t come up with unique, difficult to crack passwords
on your own.
7. Invest in an external hard drive just in case.
No matter how good your security system or how unusual your passwords, no system
can be 100% safe. That’s why you need a backup system. You could store important
information on removable discs, but storing those discs becomes a problem. An
external hard drive is a good solution. It is not connected to the internet, can be
stored in a safe location and should have enough memory to serve all of your needs.
8. Think twice about file sharing.
File sharing can be tempting. Other internet users offer free software programs and other
downloads. But the files can easily contain viruses or spyware. Just think twice before
you accept these offers.
9. Learn to identify and avoid phishing scams.
Of all our internet safety rules, this one is very important. Phishing scams are used by individuals
and bogus companies to get your personal information. Social security numbers, bank account
numbers and credit card numbers are among the things they may ask for.
The emails they send typically look very authentic. It will appear to come from a creditor
that you do business with. You will be advised to click on a link included in the email to
verify your information.
The email may indicate that failure to click on the link and verify your info immediately
could result in your account being closed or cause other problems. Do not click on the
links. Call the creditor’s number that appears on your statement and explain the situation.
10. Read their privacy policies before dealing with an online merchant and look for a
Although some scammers have become quite good at forging security icons, they usually
appearance of the icon, which usually resembles a shield.
In addition, you can look at the website address. Website addresses of non-secure sites
begin with “http”. As with most internet safety rules, this one is important too. Secure site
addresses begin with “https”. The “s” stands for secure.
These internet safety rules can really help you protect yourself online. Another great
post we have made to help you protect yourself is our Top 10 ways to prevent Identity Theft.
These internet safety rules can really help you protect yourself and your identity online.
Don’t forget to Bookmark the top 10 internet safety rules.