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In a world where thievery exists on a number of levels, steering clear of identity theft thieves is one of the best things consumers can do.
That said it can be difficult at times to navigate such treacherous waters.
For starters, I.D. theft criminals operate knowing that they can oftentimes be hard to catch. When you toss in the fact that they can strike at all hours of the day, consumers literally need to be on guard 24/7.
Given all it takes is one swipe of your personal identity to cause all kinds of personal and financial mayhem, what are you doing to keep your personal identity fit?
Laundry List of Preventative Measures
Even though you may get fortunate to never fall victim to identity theft, it certainly behooves you to do all you can to prevent it.
Some of the ways to go about that include:
- Right service provider – If you do not already have an identity theft protection provider on your side, change that moving forward. By selecting the best protection out there, you can minimize the threat to your personal financial life. As you look to protect your identity, make sure you spend the time reviewing each of the providers you are thinking about using. Separate the great ones from the fair or even poor ones. When you’re down to the two or three that resonate best with you, put them up against one another and look for differences. In the end, be comfortable with the decision you made, knowing it can go a long way in protecting you and your personal/financial assets against criminals;
- Don’t be negligent – Have you ever kicked yourself for doing something stupid in life. With the answer to that question probably being yes, you likely told yourself again and again that you’d never make the same mistake twice, right? If it involves a mistake with your personal identity, that is surely one you do not want to make a second or even a third time around. Learn from any first-time mistakes you made with your personal identity, assuring yourself it won’t occur again. If you threw a credit card receipt or bank statement out in the trash without shredding it, would you ever do that again? In the event you left some personal financial information on a public library computer, what are the odds you’d make that gaffe again? Have you ever been in a public setting and misplaced your wallet or purse for even a few minutes? In that short span of time, an identity theft thief could gather all the information they need to start making your life miserable. Lastly, have you ever fallen for a well-known scam, one where you open an unknown attachment on your computer? If so, you may have just downloaded malicious malware in the process. With that malware now on your computer, you are potentially exposing any financial data you regularly check online such as bank statements, Social Security payments, retirement fund balances;
- Educate yourself – Education is one of the best things in life, so put it to use for you. If you’ve had a run-in or two with I.D. theft (see more below), learn from the problem. There are plenty of articles online offering tips on decreasing the odds you will become the next victim. Identity theft protection provider websites are also good resources for gaining more knowledge on the subject.
Learning from any personal mistakes you have made in the past, especially those whereby your finances suffered a negative impact, those are the lessons to file away and use another day.
At the end of the day (and many days after that), you never want to repeat the same mistake twice.
If you have been the victim of identity theft at one time or another, do your best to learn from the situation. No, doesn’t mean it can’t happen again, but at least you will be better prepared moving ahead.
While you may never feel like you can totally block out the chance of being an identity theft victim ever again, you can take steps to decrease those chances.
Keeping your personal identity fit and healthy should always be one of your top goals in life.