Fight Identity Theft With Tactics Like Document Shredding In Houston
Two years ago, about seven percent of people beyond the age of 16 fell victim to identity thieves. About 85 percent of these crooks used stolen account information (i.e. credit cards or bank accounts) to achieve their own fraudulent ends, practically putting everyone at risk.
Identity thieves are out there, lurking and waiting for their next victim. About.com technology writer Tony Bradley describes the potential troubles these criminals can cause to just about anyone:
How much information does someone really need to know in order to impersonate you to a 3rd-party? Your name? Birth date? Address? Armed with easily found information such sas this, and maybe a couple other key information such sas the high school you went to, your dog’s name or your mother’s maiden name, an individual might be able to access your existing accounts or establish new loans or credit in your name.
So how can identity theft be prevented? Here are some useful tips.
Destroy your documents – Old paperwork, especially those that still contain sensitive information, must be destroyed before they get thrown out. By simply putting them in a trash bag or bin, somebody can merely pick them up, uncrumple them, and gain easy access to whatever information inside. Local Houston, TX document shredding companies like PROSHRED® of Houston can expertly destroy sensitive documents and render them completely useless to crooks.
Be vigilant about your snail mail – Always check your mailbox, and retrieve your mail as soon as possible. Simply put, identity thieves wouldn’t even dare miss out on a box filled with letters and sensitive documents such as credit card statements. Bills and correspondences offer a world of possibilities for them to commit fraud.
Take out risky items from your wallet – There are items inside your wallet that are just too risky to have, more so if the wallet itself gets lost or stolen. For instance, social security cards, cheat sheets containing PINs or passwords for every imaginable account, or even spare keys should be kept in more secure places other than your wallet.
Maintain your privacy online – Your online persona is just at risk on the web as the one in public. Always remember to set privacy settings to prevent your sensitive information online from being exploited by criminals.
Use a tough password – Do not be tempted by using simple combinations for all your accounts, thus making it relatively easier for crooks to crack your secret accounts. A “strong” random combination of letters, symbols, numbers must be used for top-notch account protection.
Identity theft protection avenues like professional Houston document shredding can only do so much. All of the aforementioned tips must be supplemented by vigilant efforts in keeping your sensitive information private at all times.
(Source: Ten Tips to Prevent Identity Theft, About.com)