How to Protect your Identity from being Stolen

Identity theft is a modern crime washing through the world. Technology has made it easy for fraudsters to delve into private information and retrieve details to steal. They may use your money or credit to buy goods and commit crimes under your name. Protection from identity theft is necessary. Whether you own a personal computer, have a bank account or travel with your social security number on your person, beware.

Online theft

You are vulnerable to identity theft while surfing the net just as much as if you were wandering around back streets at the bad end of town with your wallet. The best way to avoid becoming a victim is to protect yourself by being mindful about personal information given out when using the Internet.

If you bank online, consider putting a protection device in place that checks whether anyone is attempting to use your password when you log in. Some banks recommend free detection services for clients to use when accessing personal bank details.

When you make a purchase for goods online check for a security symbol on your screen before typing account information. It is generally in the form of a padlock icon. You would also be wise to use a debit card rather than a credit card to make transactions. This way, if a thief gets hold of your information they cannot spend more money than is in your account leaving you in debt.

Another sensible idea is to open one specific account for making purchases online, and keeping other money separate in a different account, Internet identity theft also takes place via phishing frauds and email contacts. Typically, a fraudster will pretend to be part of a trusted company. They will make an excuse for you to give them personal financial information they can use to rob you.

No responsible and trustworthy company will ever ask for your details via an email. Think before handing over information to an online recipient, after all, shouldn’t your real bank or companies you use such as Paypal already have your information?

Be careful opening emails. Most people understand computer virus’s can come from opening bad emails, but do not think twice about bad cookies such as malware being loaded onto their computer. The latest way for fraudulent people to get malware hooked into your system is via electronic cards.

Such cards can innocently be sent to you as birthday or congratulations messages. They may be in the form of a card with a cute cartoon of a puppy on but can lead to identity theft. Not all electronic card companies are thieves. Some are perfectly fine to use. However, stay clear of supposedly ‘free’ services, as they may cost you later.

Telephone calls

Identity thieves sometimes make telephone calls to unsuspecting victims, posing as professionals asking for information. You may be asked to take part in a survey, enter a free lottery or give a review for a product. Do not fall for illegal solicitation from people out to steal your name. If you are not sure about a telephone caller’s honesty, ask them to post to you their request. If from a legitimate company you have had dealings with, they will already know your address, so do not give it to them over the telephone.

Paper information

Paper work such as receipts and bank statements should be shredded before going into your dustbin as identity thieves sometimes look through rubbish for information. Any paper with your social security number on it should be shredded.

Storage of client information

Have you ever gone to pay for an item at a regular store via the telephone and find they rush through giving your bank details as formality? The reason they are not really listening is that they have stored information after you have made purchases in the past to save time. This is dangerous as the security of your information is up to them. Fraudulent employees who have access to it may use your information.

One way to prevent getting your information logged onto other people’s files is to ask companies if it is their policy to store client information, and to read the small print when making purchases.


Opportunists will steal personal information by watching over your shoulder as you fill in forms and complete transactions. They may swipe information via a skimming device attached to a cash machine, or run off with your purse when you leave it unguarded. The answer is to keep a tight grip on bags and not write financial information if there is anyone watching.

Protect yourself from identity theft by being mindful about giving out financial and personal information to strangers. Do not automatically trust an individual just because they say they come from a reputable company. Ask for their own identity, and be careful when shopping or giving information online.