Identity theft is at an all-time high. How much information are you putting out there? It’s probably too much. Each year there are millions of identities being stolen and new ideas on how to steal them are reaching the surface. The US Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that your smartphone contains just as much sensitive information as your home, such as photos and previous geolocations. It is smart to be aware of the different types of Identity theft that exist.
- Criminal identity theft
- Child identity theft
- Medical identity theft
- Financial identify theft
- Tax and Wage identity theft
- Driver’s license identity theft
So what is identity theft or also known as identity fraud? Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information, such as your name and Social Security number, without your permission. You might think of identity theft as most often related to credit or banking. This is something that damages you and will haunt you down the road when you try to apply for loans such as buying a new home or a car even simple things like an energy bill that was unpaid when your identity was stolen. It is good to identify the issue before it becomes bigger. Or even a better way of being proactive is to take the necessary steps to prevent any type of identity fraud.
Lock down your social security number.
It should not be carried around with you. Your social security number should never be used as a form of ID. If you’re not applying for credit, keep it private and hidden.
Be SMART and CAREFUL about mobile banking and shopping online.
Always remember don’t log in through public Wi-Fi when shopping or banking app in a public place. Also, shelter your entries from the view of anyone nearby who may be able to see your screen.
Stay away from phishing emails!
Technology has made it possible for hackers, scammers and identity thieves to find their way into your inbox.
Be sure to always use complex, unique passwords and change them on a monthly basis at least.
Do not make your password a date of birth or your favorite color. Make sure it’s complex, a strong password is made up of a number of different characteristics. For instance, it should be at least 6 – 8 characters long and should include at least two uppercase letters, lowercase letters and numbers.
The real question is what happens after we are victims of identity fraud?
- First put a fraud alert on your credit reports.
- Be sure to contact any institution that was directly affect.
- It is very important to file a police report.
- Remember to always protect your social security number.
- Another smart thing to do is contact the post office.