Saturday, July 20, 2013

Identity Theft Prevention Information

Everyone must be mindful of some basic identity theft prevention tips and techniques due to the serious consequences of getting personal identifying information taken. Your financial situation can be adversely impacted by identity theft and, in fact, having your identity stolen could affect many different areas of your life. This is why it is so important to understand how to protect yourself from having your ID stolen both when you're on the Internet and also when you're offline, as you are always at a risk of ID theft if you aren’t reasonably cautious.


Identity Theft Prevention Online
Protecting your identity online means being mindful of dishonest people who want to get hold of your personal information. For instance, identity thieves might try to use emails, unsecured networks or even fake websites to get your data. To protect yourself, only give out personal details on sites that are denoted as secure (you’ll see an “S” in the HTTPS website address and you’ll see a little lock at the base of the window on a secured site). Don’t hand out identifying data or info via email and be careful about what you share on unsecured networks.


Identity Theft Prevention in the Real World
There are some real-world risks for having your identity stolen in addition to dangers on the Internet.  For example, dishonest people can even search old mail in order to get your personal data. Opting out of credit card marketing material along with other promotional mailers that have personal details on them is one easy way fight against this type of identity theft. You can also shred any mail or documents with personal information in them before throwing those documents out.


Options for Identity Theft Prevention
Another approach in the fight against identity theft is to work with an ID theft prevention service. IDENTITY GUARD®, for example, helps you to be notified quickly if certain triggering events occur that suggest your data may be getting misused. You can then check into what's going on and act fast to resolve the issue if someone has compromised your information and did start to misuse it for dishonest reasons. Reacting quickly makes it much easier for you to deal with the misuse of your data. For example, instead of having 20 credit cards opened by an identity thief that you need to cancel and have taken off your credit report, you might find out that someone has stolen your identity after they’ve just begun to misuse your information. This would mean a lot less hassle for you, thanks to this strategy of identity theft prevention. To get your coverage going before it's too late, sign up at www.identityguard.com.

How Does ID Theft Happen?

The crime of ID theft happens when someone has his or her personal information misused by a criminal. The person who steals someone’s identity might use the victim’s name, social security number and other details in order to get benefits and services that the thief does not want to pay for. Subsequently, the victim is left to try and clear up the mess that the criminal made of his finances and personal records. The crime is a serious one with major consequences to targets and anybody can become a target.


ID Theft on the Internet
The Internet has, unfortunately, proved to be a useful tool for those criminals seeking to steal the identity of others. Identity thieves use a lot of different techniques and tricks to try to get ahold of people’s personal information online. For example, a thief out to steal someone’s identity might set up a fake version of a popular website to try to get people to enter personal information and passwords on the site. A criminal might also send out emails soliciting information or could hack into personal networks and databases in order to get ahold of personal details. Protecting yourself online means being smart about how you share your information, particularly when on unsecured networks. Don’t enter details about your passwords, social security number or other identifying data into a website unless it is secure and you trust the website. You are able to tell if a site is secure because it will say “HTTPS” rather than just “HTTP.” While you can't ever guarantee 100 percent that your identity won’t be stolen online, these pointers can help you stay safe.


Other Identity Theft Risks
Although the Internet is regarded as the biggest place where identity thieves work, victims could also have their identity stolen in other places too. For example, thieves could tamper with ATM machines to get them to record account information or could jot down credit card numbers and info when the cards are being swiped in restaurants or in stores.  They can also look through discarded mail to get personal details. Protecting yourself from this type of identity theft is much more difficult, although you can take precautions by shredding your mail and being careful where your card is used.

Taking Steps to Fight ID Theft
Achieving 100% protection from having your identity stolen can be difficult or impossible. Nevertheless, with programs like IDENTITY GUARD®, you could have the tools you need to identify when your information has fallen into the wrong hands. If certain suspicious events occur, you are notified and you can then be proactive in finding out if your information has fallen into the wrong hands. Visit http://www.identityguard.com to learn more about protecting yourself from the effects of ID theft.

The Meaning of Identity Theft

While you may have seen dire warnings about the need to protect yourself from "identity theft," you may not be sure of just what identity theft is, or of the way it can hurt you. In order to protect your private information from identity theft, you should understand just what it means when someone steals your identity.


How Does Identity Theft Work?
Identity theft is a crime where someone steals your personal identifying details or data. For instance, another person may use your name, your social security number, your birth date, your insurance details along with other personal information. The objective of identity theft is to utilize your information and personal details to convince someone, such as a creditor or a hospital, that they are really you.


What Is the Reason for ID Theft?
The crime of identity theft occurs due to the fact thief hopes to obtain some sort of benefit from using the victim's identity. For instance, the identity thief could use the victim’s insurance information as a way to obtain medical services without paying for them. A target of identity theft could have his social security number used by someone who is trying to get a job, or used by somebody that is trying to obtain a credit card for fraudulent purposes. The thief thus benefits from the use of someone else’s information in several ways while the victim is left to try and contend with the mess that the criminal made.


How Are Victims Hurt by Identity Theft?
Identity theft could have a devastating impact on those who are victims. If you are a victim of identity theft, the actual consequences of the criminal act will vary depending upon what the identity thief did and how long they were allowed to misuse your personal information. For instance, the person who stole your details could have obtained a lot of medical services. You might end up receiving medical bills for co-pays and other expenses. You could also end up having inaccurate information in your medical records. In some instances, this could have a seriously adverse impact on your health if doctors or other care providers take actions using the wrong information in your records. If the ID thief misused the personal details in order to secure credit, then the consequences may involve a damaged credit score. This can also have an impact on your capability to borrow money when you need it.

Because identity theft is capable of having such an unwanted impact, many people will endeavour to defend themselves using tools such as IDENTITY GUARD® in their efforts to spot symptoms of ID theft early and to stop it before it is a huge problem. Find out how you can be protected by going to http://www.identityguard.com.