In America alone, the crime of identity theft is estimated to have affected over 9 million citizens per year. Each individual should take action and protect themselves from being a victim of this crime. Here are a few basic tips which could help in protecting you from identify theft.
Firstly, you should always keep your personal documents in a well-guarded location. Consider having a personal safe in your home which can be used to deposit important items such as your birth certificate and passport. If your house has regular visitors, do no leave your personal computer unattended as the data contained in it can be simply copied through a flash drive in just a minute.
Also, do no throw away throw away personal documents in public trashcans as dumpster diving is a common tactic of identity thieves. If you have bank statements, receipts, or flight tickets with you, bring them home with you then dispose of them. To be extra cautious, you might even consider using a shredder.
Other than that, carefully monitor what personal information you tell people. If a sales representative comes up to you and asks for your home address or phone number, do no simply give it to them as this information could be sold to other companies without your consent. If your phone number is leaked, it is possible for criminals to obtain information about you through a reverse phone lookup directory.
Next, protect your purse or wallet whenever you go out of the house. Use purses that are zipped or closed shut as it will be more difficult to peek or reach inside. If you intend to leave your purse or wallet in the car, hide them out of sight in the glove compartment or under the seat. If it ever gets lost or stolen, remember to notify your banks and file a police report.