Are you looking for ways on how to prevent identity theft online?
The Wise Living has got you covered.
In this post, we’ll talk about what identity theft is, and also effective advice to help you prevent your identity from being stolen.
What is Identity Theft?
From the term itself, you can safely say that identity theft means stealing someone’s identity and using it for one’s economic gain.
Identity theft or identity fraud, its twin, is a crime.
Identity theft is done when thieves fraudulently use someone’s name, address, bank account information, credit card information and other pertinent information to steal money.
Simply put, identity theft is against the law. It is wrong. Most of all, it has got to stop.
What are some examples of Identity Theft?
You know, identity thieves are very crafty people! They’re actually very intelligent –- it’s just so bad that they’re using their intelligence to take advantage of people and commit crimes.
Some examples of committing identity theft are:
- Sending a fake BIR email, Pag-IBIG email, or DTI email to someone just to request for personal information and financial data. This is tricky. Always confirm with your RDO regarding this.
- Sending fraudulent emails (mostly spam) that promise amazing out-of-this-world prizes in return for your personal information. Remember those random emails telling you they’ve named their will after you? That’s BS.
- Committing common crimes while using your identity. This is especially true if you have a common name.
- Obtaining a passport in your name for illegal reasons. Sometimes people use your name in their passport for human trafficking. See the horror in that?
- Hacking into your computer to obtain your personal data. Handle your machine gently, my friend! But when it’s time to dispose of it, destroy your hard drive as hard as you can.
- Taking out a loan while using your credit card’s payment history. Gasp. How dare they?
- Filing for bankruptcy while submitting your name. This is so upsetting!
Best Ways to Prevent Identity Theft Online
What are some ways you can limit or prevent identity theft or fraudulent charges? Here are the most effective tips I’ve used to prevent identity theft.
1. Always examine your credit card and bank statements.
Now, most credit card issuers and digital bank savings accounts can issue statements of accounts online. Make sure to set aside time at least monthly to check out your purchases and see if there’s anything you don’t recognize.
2. Check whenever your bank contacts you.
If they call, text, mail or email you, always confirm first before giving out any personal information. It’s okay to make sure since it’s your right anyway.
3. Don’t drop off your mail at unguarded mailboxes.
In fact, I would encourage you to use a guarded slot at home.
4. Shred documents containing your personal and financial information.
Getting a paper shredder saves time and effort, but if you want to manually shred them by treating it as your hobby, you’re free to do so as well!
5. Be mindful of your trash!
The saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” may work adversely in your favor. Before throwing documents in the trash, make sure your personal data are shredded or covered.
6. Be paranoid when you’re using the ATM machine.
Make sure that no one’s standing directly behind you. You can even have a trusted companion to be with you while you’re using your ATM card so they’re blocking your view.
Also, always shield your hand when entering your PIN.
7. Be careful when paying your credit card at shops or restaurants.
Don’t be shy in escorting the merchant when giving away your credit card. Hey, it’s your card. You have all the right to see how they handle it.
In line with this, I don’t recommend using your credit cards when paying at gas stations since it’s pretty hard to see how they handle your card during payment.