Identity fraud, also known as identity theft, is a criminal offence, where the perpetrator dupes the identifiable details of a person, like his/her name, date of birth, social security number, credit card details, etc. The main motive of a criminal is to gain credit, or financial benefit, at the cost of loss of the victim. Many a times, it has been seen that identity theft has been done to carry out terrorist activity, where the victim is held responsible, because the crime was committed using his personal information. Every person has his/her own personal identity and information related to it. Nowadays, almost every work is done online, and thus personal information has become quite easily accessible to the world. We use our credit and debit cards to make transactions, use Social Security numbers for filling up any form, we give away our name, email address, phone number, date of birth to unknown organizations in lure of winning lottery. In this way, we spread out our personal information, making it easy for hackers and cyber criminals to steal our identity.
For preserving the integrity of our personal identity information, there are two perspectives of security. One is how strong the security technology has been laid, and the other is how much careful and conscious we are with our own data. In this article, I shall talk about 4 broad ways, by which you can protect yourself from identity fraud. By following these 4 tips, you can do a lot from your part, to preserve the integrity of your personal identity.
Destroy All Private Records And Paper Trail
Delete or destroy any personal information, that you no longer need for yourself. This may include your expired credit card, your bank cheques, bank passbooks, solicitations, etc. Never throw them out in trash, intact. They can be retrieved from your dustbin and used against you only. Also, never throw away your ATM receipts, gas station receipts, or any receipt that may contain your personal information.
Review the Authenticity of Any Organization Who Asks Your Personal Information
Monitor Your Credit Card Report And Bank Statements
The main focus is always on credit cards and bank accounts. So, you must carefully check your credit card reports, bank statements. Never share your PIN, password, CVV, with anyone else. Always keep a track of the merchant with whom you are transacting.
Secure Mail And Keep Out Of Spam Mails
You have to be cautious of how you are using your mailbox and email. For email, never fall in trap of mails which offer you huge prize money, or lucky draw contests. Opt out of any unnecessary subscription. You must also empty your mailbox, lock it and opt for a P.O box, so that criminals can’t get access to your address and phone number. You can also mail outgoing bill payments and checks from post office to reserve your privacy.