Identity theft is that criminal act that has far reaching implications. The short term affects of identity theft is that individuals can unlawfully obtain merchandise utilizing the individual’s credit cards and ATM cards.
However, the long term affect has greater implications. Those implications are that if the victim does not know that their identity had been stolen the thief, posing as the victim, can open up and use credit cards. The credit limits of these cards are reached and when the billing arrives the victim remains unaware or is confronted with statements that they are not responsible for.
Therefore, it is important to know how to avoid identity theft. Some of those specific methods include keeping personal information secure and precautions in using the internet.
Securing Personal Information
One of the simplest ways of knowing how to avoid identity theft is by securing personal information. Personal information includes items such as driver license numbers, Social Security numbers, birth certificates, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, PIN numbers, etc.
Therefore, this personal information should be kept in a safe place. In addition, the numbers should not be kept together. For example, writing down a bank account number with the PIN number should be avoided. Ideally, when storing these numbers they should be hidden separately. Also, due to the worst case scenario, any information that the individual may have available will help in aiding identity theft recovery if an individual is victimized by identity theft.
Also, in answering the question of how to avoid identity theft it is important that certain numbers, documents or photocopies of documents not be carried in one’s purse or wallet. Specifically, Social Security Cards, birth certificates, etc, should be left in a secure place. This will prevent these documents and information being available in the event that a wallet or purse is lost or stolen.
Another critical action that can be taken when addressing the question on how to avoid identity theft is being cautious when using the internet. This is because there are always scammers who are trying to obtain personal information that can be utilized to steal someone’s identity.
In addition, there are viruses that can be imbedded in a person’s personal computer. These imbedded viruses can then relay sensitive personal information from the unsuspecting computer user to unscrupulous individuals.
Therefore, an added precaution on how to avoid identity theft is the importance of taking a number of precautions. Those precautions include not opening up any attachments that are clipped on to e-mails in which the computer user does not know the individual who has sent the e-mail. In addition, it is important to have an anti-virus software program actively monitoring the personal computer.