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Simple Steps You Can Take To Stop Identity Theft

Mar 27, 2008
According to statistics from 2006, identity theft happens to more than eight million people a year. As a result, there are a slew of companies offering services to prevent identity theft. There ARE measures that the average person can take though that will help prevent identity theft. This includes protecting your privacy,and your personal information, shredding mail and financial documents, and monitoring your credit diligently. You might also consider purchasing identity theft insurance. It won't stop identity theft from happening, but it will prevent theft from taking over your savings and ruining your credit.

How to Guard Your Privacy

Most people don't know their rights with their privacy information, nor do they know how companies treat their personal data. Most people are aware that they shouldn't give out personal information through an emailed link or through a telemarketer. But, it is still a challenge for most people when they are faced with an "official" sounding company who is asking for personal information. Of course, identity theives are aware of this- they are impersonating collections agencies, good will agencies, and medical facilities. When someone is on the phone pressuring you that a loved one is in danger, or your house may be foreclosed on, you are faced with conflicting feelings when they are asking for your social security number.

Be Sure to Shred Your Mail

You should shred all financial documents that you don't need for your taxes- bank and credit card statements, offers for credit cards that come in your name, utility bills, etc. Purchase a crosscut shredder for the most security. By shredding documents this way, it will decrease the chance that someone will steal your documents from your information.

Always Monitor Your Credit Reports

Thanks to a new law that took effect a couple of years ago, every consumer is eligible to receive one free annual credit report from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus, Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax. By spacing your requests, you can obtain a free credit report once every four months. By carefully monitoring the information on your credit report, you can help prevent identity theft from happening to you.

Consider Purchasing Identity Theft Insurance

While identity theft insurance wont really prevent identity theft, it can make picking up the pieces afterwards much less devastating. Usually a policy will cover out-of-pocket expenses, including loss of wages while you clear up your credit history, as well as any charges that you are liable for. Most companies dont hold you responsible for charges made by an identity thief but its always better to be safe than sorry. Identity theft insurance policies are reasonably priced at about $25-$50dollars a year for $15,000 to $20,000 in coverage.
About the Author
Is your internet security really doing its job? Don't just blindly rely on some software package to protect you. Find out what you need to know to keep yourself protected online at the Security Manor website. Visit http://www.securitymanor.com for more helpful tips & advice.
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