Whether you like it or not, identity theft isn’t going away. Consumers are not only aware of identity theft, they’re rightfully concerned. Learning about identity theft is the first step to protecting yourself from its negative outcomes.
According to the Department of Justice, the most common types of identity theft are:
- Shoulder Surfing: Someone physically observing you entering information on your computer or phone.
- Pre-approved Credit Card Offers: These allow impersonators to open credit card accounts in your name.
- Spam Emails: Cyber criminals send fake emails in an effort to solicit sensitive data from consumers.
- Tax Fraud: A criminal filing a tax return in your name to collect your refund.
Common ways to prevent identity theft include:
- Shredding unneeded documents with sensitive information.
- Limiting how and where you share personal information.
- Never sharing or reusing passwords.
- Securely deleting unneeded files and shredding any information-bearing devices like hard drives and flash drives when you are ready to replace them.
When it comes to preventing identity theft, it’s impossible to be too careful. Make sure to take every possible precaution to secure your personal information.
What to Do If You’re A Victim of Identity Theft
If you think you might be a victim of identity theft, be sure to act immediately. The sooner you start damage control, the better off you’ll be. Begin by consulting the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website dedicated to information on identity theft.
Other immediate steps to take:
- Place a fraud alert with a major credit reporting company.
- Order a copy of your credit report.
- Create an identity theft report with the FTC.
These steps will go a long way to limit damage and ensure financial stability down the road. While DataShield can’t guarantee that identity theft won’t happen to you, we can help make sure that you’re taking the proper steps to be safe with your documents and data. Contact us today to make sure the protection of your personal information leaves nothing to chance.