When things are going great, life can be as good as it gets.
You have a good job, money is not an everyday worry, you live in a nice home or apartment, your family and friends are healthy and safe, and the list goes on and on. Sounds pretty good, yes?
Now stop for a moment and image how that ideal life can be turned upside down when you’re the victim of identity theft.
In just a short period of time, that life you so enjoyed can be turned on its ears, leaving you feeling helpless and potentially in a major financial hole.
Keep Identity Theft Thieves at Bay
So that you can keep those at bay who would do you financial harm, remember these tidbits:
- Choose How to Protect Your Identity – Your first order of business is making sure your identity (particularly your financial well-being) is protected as much as possible. You may be at a lost how best to do that, but there are companies and services out there such as ITPBureau.com to assist you. When working with such businesses, they are experts in narrowing down the field of identity theft providers, giving you more knowledge of which one best fits your identity theft protection needs. By comparing a number of providers, they can match you up, giving you more peace of mind;
- Don’t Be Careless with Your Identity – Having the best identity theft provider around won’t mean all that much if in fact you are careless with your identity, notably your financial persona. It is important that you always guard your financial identity (credit and debit cards, bank account info, your Social Security number, PIN numbers for important financial items etc.). As identity theft thieves become even better with compromising technology and using it to their advantage, it is all the more important that you avoid being careless with your data. If someone calls you and poses as a business owner, make sure you do not give out sensitive info like a SSN or other personal identification. In many cases, that “business” calling you is actually an I.D. theft criminal, hoping you will provide him or her with data they need to become a nuisance in your life. It just takes one slip-up on your end to give a thief or thieves an invitation into your financial world;
- Public Places Can Be Dangerous – Never stop yourself from going out in public (see more below), but be careful when you do. Stop and think for a moment about how many times over the years you’ve likely exposed your credit card, left a financial receipt behind, and so on. You may have gotten lucky and not been the victim of an identity theft crime at the time, but chalk that up as just that, luck. If you’re out a restaurant, make sure your waiter or waitress takes the merchant’s copy of the receipt with them, avoiding having it sit on the table while other people are coming and going;
- Careful When Traveling – You should never shy away from travel when you have the opportunity, but do it so carefully. Identity theft thieves oftentimes will target a hotel or motel, figuring there are golden opportunities awaiting them to catch travelers with their guards down. Even though you do not need to be obsessive about it, don’t leave your laptop (if you travel with it for business or personal reasons) sitting around with sensitive data on the screen. When out of your room, avoid leaving credit cards behind on a table or any information that leads to your bank account. While you’d like to think most individuals working in hotels and motels are honest, is it worth the risk of having your financial life turned upside down?
Your lifestyle should be one of hard work and lots of fun when the work day is over.
Don’t make the job easy for identity theft thieves; keep them working overtime in trying to penetrate your financial world.
If you want to live a lifestyle that is free of financial headaches from criminals, take the time to review what you’re doing right protecting your identity, along with seeing where you need a little reinforcement.