Everyday‚ identity thieves get more and more sophisticated making ID theft protection harder for members of the general public and impossible to prevent 100 percent of the time. There is no foolproof method to completely protect yourself from identity theft‚ but you can make it harder for thieves by taking a few precautionary measures in your day to day life that many victims of the crime fail to on a regular business.
Protect your virtual identity
Whether you are shopping for new clothes‚ bidding on a used couch‚ chatting with a friend on social media or even just checking your email‚ identity thieves can catch you off guard and steal your identity online. Even if you think you know a person you are communicating with — through email‚ chat or even a video message – never share personal identification information – like your Social Security number – over the internet. There is perhaps no easier way for a con-artist to get a hold of your identity than through the computer. Being vigilant by keeping your information a secret is your best ID theft protection.
Your bank and credit accounts are easy targets
When you spend using plastic‚ do all that you can to make sure your information doesn't fall into the wrong hands. This isn't just an online threat – the person behind the counter or taking your order could get a hold of the information they need when you go to pay with your credit or debit card. Never let these documents out of your sight when you are spending with them‚ and only pay for them at locations you absolutely trust.
Monitor your credit
While identity theft is much more than just having a criminal take your credit card and go off on a spending spree‚ if you enlist in a credit monitoring program‚ you will be alerted to strange activity on your credit report that could be a sign of larger fraud. By choosing a program that alerts you as soon as possible to signs of theft‚ you can take steps to try to stop a thief in their tracks before they cause any more damage.