4 Ways to Keep Your Personal Information Personal

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With identity theft running rampant in today’s world, keeping your confidential information private is more important than ever. Identity thieves are getting more and more clever when it comes to compromising your information and while it may never be possible to complete solve this problem, there are some steps you can take to reduce your chances of being a victim of identity theft.

Use an Alternate Email on Public Forums
Using your real email address when you are posting on online public forums is dangerous for two reasons – spamming and phishing. Email spammers can easily get your email address when you post on some public forums because your address is usually visible. Then they can start sending you endless emails and some of them will have malicious links. Phishing scams are also a danger. They can get your email address and start sending messages that look like they are from your bank, credit card company or a similar institution and ask for your account numbers. Instead of taking a chance, just use a “disposable” email account under a different name to avoid these two hassles.

Never Share with Strangers
Do you like to chat online with people from all over the world? If you’re careful, there is nothing wrong with this. But it’s important to protect your personal information while making these online friendships. Is someone asking you to send them money? Or are they asking questions about your financial situation? If so, this could be a setup to steal your confidential information. Never share account numbers or other financial details with anyone online because they can easily steal your identity.

Keep Confidential Files at Home
If you make a practice of carrying your mobile device around with a lot of sensitive and confidential information on it, you could be setting yourself up for identity theft. It’s easy for a thief to slip away with your mobile device without you even knowing it. By the time you realize it’s gone, they can slip into the crowd and there could be no way to retrieve it. If you have confidential files and documents on your device, they would have access to it right away. Keep those files on your home computer to reduce your chances of ID theft.

Beware of Rewards and Prizes
If you spend any amount of time on the internet, you know there are many websites that offer a free prize in exchange for giving them some of your information, such as your name, address, birth date, city of residence and more. There’s a reason they are offering something for free – it’s because they usually get paid for selling the information you give them. This information can be sold to thieves and others who will abuse it and steal your identity.

Preventing identity theft means taking a proactive approach to the problem. Using the suggestions above will help prevent you from becoming a victim, but it’s important to be on the lookout for other ways to protect yourself and your information.

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