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Tips On Preventing Identity Theft

Dec 20, 2007
The number of people that have been victimized by identity theft and credit card fraud is on the rise. Each year, the losses from these cases amount to hundred of thousands, if not millions of dollars. Because of the alarming costs and the steady increase in number of cases; firms that offer protection against the crime are also multiplying. These firms offer protection and assistance in the unfortunate event that a client does get entangled in an Identity theft and credit fraud dispute.

But the fact is, most people don't need to resort to availing the services of such firms, as long as time is available and patience is practiced. Protecting yourself from identity theft can be as simple as being cautious to whom you give your personal information or something like setting up fraud alerts for your credit cards. Below are some tips that can help you prevent identity theft easily.

CAUTION - this is probably the foremost advice that is given to anyone when identity theft is talked about. Beware who you give your personal information to. Be careful about giving away credit card numbers and your social security numbers; even employee ID numbers and Passport numbers can be used in performing identity theft and fraud. Beware also of sending the mentioned numbers and details over unsecured email connections and even shady online stores.

NO TO PRE-APPROVED CREDIT CARDS AND JUNK MAIL - One of the main functions provided by some identity theft protection firms is to remove your name from the list of pre-approved credit cards and junk mail. This is done because some identity thieves can use this in getting your information. You can do this task by simply not responding to junk email and pre-approved credit card offer.

If you do want them to stop arriving, you can contact the customer support numbers listed on the mail that you receive. That way, you can request that they take your name off their list. This can be very taxing, but the result is that you no longer get pesky junk mail, plus you eliminate a potential source where thieves can get hold of your sensitive info.

ANTI-SPYWARE - Thieves getting your information via the web may seem like something straight out of a John Grisham novel, but it can indeed happen. More people have fallen victim to identity theft and credit fraud than in any other way. What is spyware you ask? Spyware is a Computer Software that is installed in your computer without you knowing. It can be installed manually - someone gets in physical contact with your PC. It can also be installed remotely; anyone anywhere can easily install a Spyware program just by using their own computer. You can also download Spyware unknowingly when you download unsecured shareware.

Spyware works by monitoring your activity on the computer and stealthily sending it to another. It can gather important information such as passwords, frequented sites, birth date and other personal info. This can be exploited by tedious hackers and use the data to represent you in fraudulent transactions.
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