Identity Theft: Protection, Prevention at the Commercial and Personal Level

Prevention Identity theft ProtectionProtecting your Name and Your Life from Identity Theft
We’ve all heard of identity theft or fraud. However, we all think, ‘it won’t happen to me’. In 2005 alone, over 8 million Americans were victims of some sort of identity fraud.

The reality is this: it could happen to you.

This is why you need to protect yourself and your belongings from identity theft. There are certain precautions you should take around the house, at the office, overseas and when surfing online to ensure that you are not one of those 8 million people.

Prevention against Identity Theft
One of the most common ways to have your identity stolen is by misplacing your wallet or purse. This happens all the time, especially when you are out having fun. However, while you enjoy a drink with friends or dance at a live concert, someone else may be sitting back and waiting for you that split second when you leave your wallet unattended.

Identity Theft is Not Just a Funny TV Commercial
This is why it is important to always keep track of your belongings. When you do go out, carry a smaller sized purse and leave some of the less important ID cards at home. Make sure that your purse or wallet zips up completely so a stranger cannot stick his hand in and make a grab for your belongings. Also, when at home, at the office or out and about, do not leave your belongings unattended, even for a short period of time. This is even more important when traveling overseas as, without your passport, you cannot return home.

Cyber Identity Theft: Protect and Prevent
Another serious problem comes in the form of cyber identity theft which can be harder to prevent. Cyber identity occurs on both personal computers and business computer networks meaning that you could be a victim without even realizing it.

Most hackers will go after a large database filled with hundreds of people’s details such as a police database or a financial institute’s statistics. Others will trigger medical reports or insurance companies where hundreds, if not thousands of people may be targeted.

Most institutions offer protection against this type of internet fraud and will reimburse you any money or damages caused by commercial identity theft. However, at the personal level, you need to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself.

An anti-virus system is the best protection against hackers who usually strike with a virus or a Trojan horse. If an unfamiliar icon that you did not download appears on your computer, do not open it. It could be a Trojan horse, a hacker in disguise, ready to strike.

The best prevention against online identity theft is to be careful. If a site is not secure, do not give away your credit card information or any other important identity information. Furthermore, keep in mind that, when buying, selling and even surfing online, there will always be security risks involved.