The Internet – Playground for Scammers and Identity Thieves
The internet is a virtual playground for scammers and identity thieves. This is why you must learn how to protect yourself from identity theft. If you are not careful, you can lose a lot of money and even get into legal problems. With the internet, it is easy for criminals to steal your personal information and steal from your bank account, credit card account, and commit illegal and fraudulent financial transactions. Below are identity guard tips to help you know how you can stay safe.
1. Always Protect Your Personal Details
Protect your personal details and think carefully before giving out your social security number, birth date or the numbers of your bank account. Only those who are one hundred percent authorized, including Banks and Government offices, should be allowed to have this kind of information. Your personal information may be misused in a wide range of activities. They can open a bank account in your name or draw huge loans from the bank using your account. Make sure that the person who is asking for your personal details is trustworthy and has the legal right to do so before you give them any kind of information.
There are various services available online that will monitor and identify fraud in your name, one of which is ‘Lifelock’ which is one of the best available, there are plenty of lifelock reviews online for you to read through should you have any doubt about the service.
2. Be Vigilant On Your Credit Card Record
Keeping a close watch on your credit report is also a way in which you can protect yourself from identity theft. It is an important document that keeps track of all your financial commitments including credit cards, loans, mortgages and so on. Each month, your credit profile is updated to reflect any change that may have taken place. By keeping a watch on this, you will be able to recognize any unusual activity has occurred.
3. Protect Your Computer
Be sure to protect your computer from any viruses. If you have your bank account number and login information in your computer, it wouldn’t take someone long to hack in and steal the information using a spyware or keylogger program. This is why you need to use efficient anti-virus and identity guard programs to minimize malware programs from intruding. You should also ensure that these programmes are regularly updated.
4. Watch Out For Scam Emails
Keep in mind that your bank will never email you to request for information that is personal. If you receive an email which appears to be from your bank, do not submit information under any circumstances. In reality this is a “phishing” email from someone who just wants to take your bank account information. Disregard this type of email, and call your bank to let them know.
5. Avoid Giving Credit Card Details Online
Do your best to avoid giving out your credit card details online. If you are going to make a purchase, be sure to use a secure internet connection. Or use a payment processor such as Google Checkout or PayPal, that converts information that is sent by a customer online into a code to prevent unauthorized access.
6. Be Cautious When On Blogs and Social Networks
Also, remember that your ID posted online in places such as social networking sites, forums and blogs can be highly dangerous especially for the unsuspecting. There are many “lurkers” who prowl online communities looking for information posted by careless members. With just a little research, crooks can find personal information posted at these sites, and use it to commit criminal acts and fraud.
Have Separate Passwords
Always have a separate password for everything. Most people are making the big mistake of using the same passwords for all their online accounts. This makes it easier for crooks and scammers to steal your identity. When they crack one password of yours, they will then know all of your passwords for all of your accounts.
Internet scammers are taking advantage of people who are not very careful with their personal information. Be smart and guard your personal ID like it’s your own life, because it is your life. By taking a few precautions you will minimize the risk of having your identity stolen. Your ID is part of your life – so guard it like your life depends on it with these identity guard tips.