Every day, the crime rate increases more gradually than almost everybody becomes a victim and a target. The internet makes everybody who uses it exposed to many technology-related crimes that include identity theft. Unknowingly, through identity theft, some people are using the information they gather from the internet and the different websites visited by the million users worldwide.
More than anything else in this world, everybody’s individual identity is of high value no matter what your status in life. You are committing identity theft if you want to be somebody else, too. With or without the use of the internet, identity theft is a crime that may be committed while the people who do it are called scammers and hackers.
What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft, in its literal sense, is the stealing of identity, including important information aside from your name and photo. It is when somebody uses another person’s identification to pretend or disguise as somebody else while they do other bad things. They steal money from someone with the hacked PIN that they stole also. It’s easier to do now than before with the help of the internet.
Since safety and security is a top priority today, identity theft also has become an important topic everywhere. Once you’ve been a victim of identity theft, it would be hard for you to take it back clean again. It is either you end up with your both hands handcuffed, or your wallet and bank accounts having zero balance.
However, tough and difficult the problem with identity theft may be, there are certain steps on how you can successfully prevent yourself from experiencing it.
How to Avoid Identity Theft
If you are someone with a high profile, well-known name, and regular posts in social media every day, then you may be a target of identity theft. They shall be using your good name and reputation to make others believe it was really you.
For people not wanting to be a victim, here are some of the possible ways on how to avoid it.
- Never share your Social Security Number with somebody else. Whether it is online or offline, telling others about your SSS number is not advisable.
- Set up alerts on your PC, mobile phones, and laptops. Those gadgets you always check on and bring with you shall become a perfect tool for you to stay connected and aware of everything happening.
- Disable or totally stop your credits. Using credit cards is rampant these days especially when it comes to online transactions for shopping and subscriptions wherein victims are asked to pay online, too. They may deduct the money from your account and forget about your purchase afterward, or they can still use it for other things.
- Choose a strong and unidentifiable password by anyone else. Special characters are now required to be used in setting your password so websites, too, can help in preventing this crime.
- Monitor your emails for any suspicious files and attachments. Observe each mail you receive every day. Do not just click any attachment or file without scanning it or might as well, just ignore it.
- Shred or destroy any document of yours that shows any information about your identity and bank details. The figures people see in your payslip and receipts from withdrawing from an ATM causes high envy and temptation among scammers so you better dispose of those papers.
- Secure mobile phones not to be snatched or stolen from you suddenly. Having saved files that are important in your device’s storage may be used against you by law-breakers. They have a way of opening your mobile phones despite the password you use and then collect as much information as they can from you. You may choose to delete all those files or simply take better care of your devices.
- Monitor your money and credit records regularly. Scammers can be cunning but not cunning enough to know whether you get informed each time they try to withdraw money from your bank. So, if you always check on the free reports sent by your bank, it will be easy for you to tell if there is any problem going on in your account.
- Stay alert. Always be on the lookout for anything unusual that happens in your files, emails, and other accounts.
- Update your software on laptops and mobile phones regularly. Since your PC and mobile phones are your best tools for storing information, all of its contents including software and ads must be maintained updated, too.
- Never post anything about your personal details on the internet. Before you click, it is always best to think many times first so you can clearly tell if it’s the best thing to do. Scammers are everywhere and they are also always online that they can be the firsts to see what you will be posting.
- Use an electronic wallet for a secured online shopping. So as not to be asked of your credit card details, making payments through an e-wallet would be safer and less hassle. With an e-wallet, too, you can always track your purchase records which are kept secured by the websites as well.
For further assurance that you are really safe from this kind of theft, here is a list of services specially made for protection from identity theft.
Where to Find Identity Theft Protect Services
Professional help may be provided for people who fear to have themselves prone to identity theft. To seek an identity theft protection service entails a high amount of money for payment but are very useful and effective, too.
The Identity Theft Protection program is a combination of assistance from a software and a group of professionals who shall be checking on your accounts and other internet activities that you do. Once a problem or issue is detected, alerts are sent to you through your PC or mobile phones. However, if it becomes too late for you to install one of these services, they still have a technique to offer you and make your use of the internet as enjoyable and delightful as before.
You may choose between the two types of Identity Theft Services that you can avail of and those are credit monitoring and identity theft recovery. Therefore, it means that this service does not really promise you that your personal information will be safe and unharmed by such threats. However, what it will do is monitor your account and send you quick alerts if there shall be any issue found.
To choose which one is best to be used for you and your identity’s safety, here is a list of the five most wanted, effective Identity Theft Protection Services.
- Identity Force – for a low monthly fee, this one offers to provide you with 24/7 support and protection. Its alert shall be real-time and not delayed, the team keeping full attention to your account. If ever your information gets hacked, alerts are sent immediately to your mobile or computer. Experts who are part of the team shall be taking over your account and make sure you can recover everything such as calls and require for the $1 million identity theft policy. A free-trial is also offered.
2. IdentityIQ – offers 4 set of plans that are for identity theft protection at an affordable price. It has been created in 2010 seeking to aid users in monitoring and recovering their accounts. It covers up to $1 million but is not allowing any trial period for online registration.
3. LifeLock – this one works together with the help of Norton Security for all of your information and gadgets, too. This one is developed to scan and examine your transactions every minute to see closely if there are unusual activity happening in your behalf.Identity Guard – more than 47 million users are relying on this service for many years now. They use artificial intelligence to lead them in the scanning and monitoring process. A watch list may be made so your emails and credit accounts will be regularly checked, too.
4. ID Watchdog – all of the three credit bureaus work together with some identity monitoring in the regular checking of your accounts for some unusual activities and transactions made in your name. Through this company’s CITRMS or Certified Identity, Theft Risk Management, this ID theft protection service is successful in its goal of monitoring, safe restoration, and cleanup of your account back to its normal state. This service also promises to return up to $1 million coverage if ever they fail to keep your account and details safe through their ID Watchdog Plan.
Features of a Good ID Theft Protection Service
A lot of these services are coming out recently that makes the selection a little more difficult to do. However, to help you with choosing which one you should pick and install in your device, here are the traits or features that you must look for:
- Three Bureaus work for the credit monitoring
- Monitors the Dark Web
- Offers an insurance
- Offers fast recovery of account information
- Offers a family plant service
- Monitors bank accounts
This can be such a great news and a big relief to everyone who worries about their identity being exposed every time they use the internet which has become an essential part of daily dealings. If you cannot avoid these things from happening to you, the only thing you have left to do is accept it and just always be on the watch so you can fix the problem sooner. Likewise, whichever service you choose to have, your careful use of your device is what will still work best in this case.