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July 7, 2016

5 Ways to Prevent Identity Theft

According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, about 16.6 million consumers experienced identity theft in 2012, or 7 percent of all people aged 16 and over nationwide. Identity theft is a serious public issue that causes victims many headaches with their credit record, such as disputing fraudulent charges and stopping creditors from harassing them for repayment of loans for which they never applied. What’s even more surprising is that people don’t know how to avoid identity theft and may have to get themselves cleared of criminal charges. It’s better to avoid the hassles of reclaiming your personal credit rating by using these five tips for avoiding identity theft:

1. Store personal documents in a safe or a safety deposit box at the bank.

A data breach can occur when old records are not destroyed properly. When sensitive documents are just discarded in the trash, information thieves can rummage through the bins and take whatever they want. Therefore, all sensitive documents that are no longer needed must be shredded. ProShred Tampa offers convenient and economical solutions in data destruction in the Tampa Bay area. ProShred can shred all of your sensitive documents on site so that this information does not get compromised.

2. Monitor your credit record online every month

Every month monitor your credit record and look for accounts that have been opened or closed without your permission. For credit cards and lines of credit, you also need to see if someone has increased your balance with fraudulent charges.

3. Keep your purse, wallet, checkbook, and cell phone secure while you are out in public.

Do not leave them in the car unless that is your only option. Even if these items never go missing, it’s easy for someone to remove your credit card, driver’s license, Social Security card, checks, and other items and use a Smartphone to snap an image of the sensitive information. Once the information is lifted, a thief can return these items to you without your knowledge and steal your identity.

4. Destroy personal credit cards, bank and credit card statements, and other documents that contain personally identifiable information.

A service such as PROShred can help you with secure document destruction, including paper shredding, hard drive destruction and on-site or drop off shredding services.

5. Make a copy of the front and back of all contents in your wallet

Store them in a secondary place, such as in a relative’s home safe. If your home or car is robbed or your wallet is stolen, you don’t have to worry about waiting on all of that information to arrive in the mail.

To get more tips for avoiding identity theft, contact PROSHRED Tampa, which has assisted Florida consumers and organizations with secure shredding services for more than two decades. PROShred ensures consumer data security and compliance with government requirements through services such as onsite document shredding, hard drive destruction, and compliance and breach solutions.

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