Why #Should You Be #Concerned With #Identity Theft?

The prevalence of identity theft is alarming. It seems that we learn of major data breaches concerning compromised consumer information more on a regular basis compared to a few years back. Are companies not implementing the necessary protection to ensure that consumer data are secure or are hackers getting to be more sophisticated?

According to Usatoday.com, identity theft soared in 2016, affecting about 15.4 million consumers. Unfortunately with the most recent Equifax data breach, that number could increase dramatically. Nbcnews.com reported that half of the population of the United States could be affected by the massive Equifax data breach that was discovered last July 29.

You’re looking at about 143 million folks who may have lost the privacy of their personal data. The scary part is that you or someone close to you could be a victim. To make matters worse, you really wouldn’t know you’re a victim until you’re in deep trouble.

Defining Identity Theft

Identity theft is clearly a fraudulent act. It’s when someone uses your personal information for financial gains. The thief takes on your identity by using personal information such as your credit card number, birth dates, driver’s license number, and social security numbers.

You’re looking at about 143 million folks who may have lost the privacy of their personal data. The scary part is that you or someone close to you could be a victim. To make matters worse, you really wouldn’t know you’re a victim until you’re in deep trouble.

Once the thief is able to obtain such personal information, anything can easily be purchased or claimed on your behalf. Unfortunately, that’s without you knowing it. The only time you’ll know you’re a victim is when you’re already deep in debt. That could really damage your credit background and in worst-case scenario, force you to declare bankruptcy. Related read: How To Save On Identity Theft Protection

No one wants to be a victim of identity theft. Unfortunately these days, it’s a crime that’s very easy to commit. Truth to be told, you don’t even have to be a hardcore thief to steal someone’s identity.

As it is, it’s quite easy to pick up someone’s personal information these days. Just go on any social media platform to pick up any kind of personal information about someone. Unfortunately, the recent data breach at Equifax has pretty much handed over millions of personal data to identity thieves. This puts everybody at risk. Who knows where your personal information could end up?

Some Ideas To Protect Yourself

It’s pretty hard to stop identity theft. Identity thieves are too creative. They will always find ways to steal personal information. Besides, the internet makes it very easy for them to commit a crime. They can do it within the comforts of their home.

With such huge companies like Equifax being hit by data breach, it’s almost too impossible to think that identity theft can actually be eradicated. So instead of wasting time to think of ways to eradicate it, it’s best think of ways to protect yourself. Here are a couple of ways you can protect yourself from identity theft.

Install A Strong Anti-Virus Software. Everybody is a computer user these days. Even grandmas and grandpas are on some kind of computer device. That’s because computers make it very convenient for everybody. You can do almost anything on the computer.

You can protect your computer by providing security software that’s strong and up-to-date. One thing is for sure: security software that’s strong and up-to-date is not free. So if you have free anti-virus installed in your computer, better change to something that’s more reliable. Free anti-virus software won’t be able to protect you from identity thieves online.

Identity thieves can steal your sensitive data by hacking your computer. They can do that in so many ways. With a free anti-virus program, it’s going to be pretty easy for identity thieves to hack right into your computer.

You can never compete with these thieves because they’re pretty tech savvy. However, you can be a step ahead of them. Make sure the security software in your computer is strong and up-to-date to lessen the chances of getting hacked.

You can never compete with these thieves because they’re pretty tech savvy. However, you can be a step ahead of them. Make sure the security software in your computer is strong and up-to-date to lessen the chances of getting hacked.

Monitor Your Credit Activities. This shouldn’t be so hard to do these days. With online banking, it’s pretty easy to monitor your credit card activities. This way, you can easily catch a fraudulent activity and report it to the bank immediately.

In line with this, it’s also crucial that you request for a credit report. According to Experian.com, that is something you should do every year just to make sure there are no fraudulent activities in your personal profile.

Burn Personal Documents That Aren’t Needed Anymore. It’s not enough to shred personal documents that you don’t need anymore. A shredded document can easily be put together.

A safer option get rid of personal documents that aren’t needed anymore is to burn them. That way no one can ever retrieve whatever personal information you have on those documents.

Minimize Online Presence. One simple way to monitor your identity is by being very careful with what you post online. Think twice about what you post about yourself online. That way, you can minimize your online presence

Monitor Your Identity. One sure way for you to prevent identity theft is by monitoring your identity. You can easily do this by availing of a service that can keep track of your personal information and at the same time, alert you in case there are any dubious activities associated with it.