Home Business Inventory - 8 Smart Ways to Prevent Identity Theft
Identity theft has become America’s fastest growing crime problem.
Professional thieves steal and illegally use names, addresses, social security numbers, bank account information, credit card numbers, and other personal data of around 10 million people yearly.
In view of this, the first step to protect yourself against this fierce assault on your finances and general wellbeing is to understand how these thieves get your information.
On a corporate level, outsiders break into consumer databases to steal thousands of names, and also mislead or entice employees to get information, while insiders may use the employer’s access to credit information to obtain confidential personal data or to steal information directly from the files or trash.
On a personal level, it is worrisome to see how often this happens. Someone steals or finds your wallet, digs through your trash, or gazes over your shoulder as you use the ATM; the savvier the criminals, the more vulnerable you are.
The most serious cases involve someone targeting information from deceased people through obituaries, stealing or redirecting your mail, and getting credit card or bank account information through skimming.
Phishing is a very popular way of stealing your identity too. It consists on developing a website that looks just like the site of a legitimate company and sending emails to entice people to share their personal data, which is later used by the criminals.
When your identity is stolen, the thief becomes you by using your financial information.
Some criminals will simply go on a spending spree with your credit cards and checks, or open cell phone accounts; but others will use your name to do whatever they want.
Some use your name to get driver licenses to request car loans, open bank accounts, and even file for bankruptcy to avoid being evicted from a house or to get out of a debt they acquired in your name. They will even use your name when they are arrested!
No one is safe from identity theft; thus, the best way to protect yourself is to be extra careful.
Below you will find 8 smart ways to protect yourself against these life-wrecking criminals:
Guard your social security number
Never print it on personal IDs or on checks; write it down when it is needed.
Never carry it in your wallet or use it as a personal ID. Even when someone legitimately asks you for it, think twice before giving it out. Who knows who will have access to the data after you’re gone?
Hire a home business inventory company to watch over your information and your identity.
Guard your mail
Reduce the amount of unwanted offers.
Call 888-5OPT-OUT to avoid pre-approved credit card offers and insurance. If you receive an offer in the mail, shred it before recycling it, and cancel mail delivery when you are away on vacation.
When you write checks and mail them to your credit card company, do not include your complete information; write only your account’s last four digits.
Guard your trash
We throw away a lot of personal information: credit card offers, ATM receipts, bank and credit statements, and utility bills.
Get a shredder and use it, and don’t forget to destroy old credit cards before disposing of them.
You can save your entire personal, bank and credit card information as well as important receipts in a home business inventory; if something happens, it will offer proof of who you are and what you have.
Be careful with the phone
Never give personal information over the phone if you didn’t initiate the call. If you receive a call from a high-pressure caller, hang up.
Guard your computer
Protect your computer with a password, change it regularly, and don’t share it.
You can save it in a home business inventory along with other important passwords, to ensure you don’t forget them and to avoid the need to carry them around with you.
Do not give your personal information to unwanted sources and use virus protection.
Guard your wallet
Write “photo ID required” on the back of your credit cards where the signature should go.
Scan everything you carry around: IDs, credit cards, and the issuers’ contact numbers, and upload them to an online home business inventory to keep a copy in a safe place in case your wallet is stolen.
Guard your deceased relatives
Not even the dead are safe.
Get many copies of your loved one’s official death certificate and notify everyone; financial institutions, insurance companies, credit card companies, loan holders, and others.
Remove the name of the deceased from all joint accounts and call credit-reporting agencies to request a deceased alert.
Inform of suspicious activity
Check your credit report regularly and contact your creditors if you see suspicious activity.
Contact the authorities immediately if you believe your identity has been stolen, and file a police report and a complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
The home business inventory platform, AssetWatch, offers real help in case of identity theft by providing a personal assistant to help you recover your identity.
It is beyond devastating to become the victim of identity theft; not only is your money stolen, but also your name.
These criminals know who to attack and how to get the best out of what they get; thus, being alert, well informed, and well-protected is your best defense.
This is why home business inventory services like AssetWatch exist. Every product we offer is designed to help you empower yourself against financial and personal attacks.
We are here for you, because by empowering yourself, you help empower our society… and we are proud to be a part of it.