- Internet & the Web
Identity Theft: How to Avoid and Deal With it.
Security is more and more important
Identity theft is a growing problem worldwide. Incidences of identity theft increased by 11% from 2008 to 2009, altering the lives of 11 million Americans. There is no sure fire way to keep this from happening to you but there are steps that can be taken to help prevent it.
Regularly checking your credit report is a good step towards prevention. Using unique and strong passwords on everything is also important. Keep your information as private as possible. Do not post private information on facebook or twitter. Ask yourself who needs to know before you let anyone know your private information. Be suspicious of emails from anyone you don’t know and NEVER click on a link in an email. If the email is trying to send you to a trusted site then type the URL to the trusted site into your browser window.
It is very important to not use the same password on you banking as you do for an email address or something simple such as that. A good way to make a strong password is to pick something easy to remember but non personal, such as something related to a movie or book. Use a combination of capital and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. The capital letter should not be the first letter and the numbers/symbols should go in the middle of the pass word not at the beginning or the end.
If you become the victim of identity theft report it immediately to the fraud departments at the three credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. The initial fraud alert is only good for ninety days, so you will need to contact them again as soon as you receive the information they will send you and request that they extend the fraud alert to seven years. You can also request that only the last four digits of your social security number appear on your credit report.
You can also put a security freeze on your credit. By putting this freeze on your credit reports no one, including credit issuers, will be able to access your credit information without your permission. This effectively prevents thieves from opening up new credit card and loan accounts.
There are many other steps that can be taken to prevent and recover from identity theft. These are just a few simple steps that can help you keep your information safe or recover from a stolen identity. For more information you can check out some of my sources (these are all reputable and trustable sites) or simply search for articles on identity theft for yourself.