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Simple Solutions To the Issue Of Identity Theft

26th March 2010
By lisa lucero in Criminal Law
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We all know that identity theft is an ever-increasing problem in our society. Yet, there are solutions to the chaos created by identity theft. After first understanding how this crime can impact your own life, there are several steps you can take to resolve this issue. Learning how to apply these practical solutions to the problem of identity theft will give you power and restore your peace of mind.

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft happens when someone accesses your personal information and assumes your identity. Criminals use this as a way to buy items or services without a financial obligation on their part. Or to put the matter simply, identity theft steals your money by first gaining access to your bank account or credit card information. Each year, over 10 million people fall victim to identity theft, but there are solutions to safeguarding yourself.

Prevention is the Best Protection

The best and most effective solution to identity theft is prevention. Consider your personal information a shield that surrounds your money and property. The first step to take is to request a free credit report every year, so you can monitor your credit history. You will then be in a position to notice any unusual transactions that appear on this statement. Usually, this is an early indicator that your credit information has been accessed.

If you notice anything out of the ordinary, immediately notify the credit card company and discuss the matter. Another effective solution to identity theft is to question any time someone asks for private information. Know why you need to supply such information and also how it's going to be used. There will be times when you must furnish confidential information, like if you are opening a bank account, but be very cautious of requests like this.

Personal documents should be stored in a safe place, either at home or in a safety deposit box at the bank. Consider purchasing a shredding machine to destroy any papers, bills or correspondence that contains personal identification. If you can't buy a shredder, simply tear up these papers before discarding them in the trash. Since criminals keep an eye on mailboxes, if you're going on a vacation stop mail delivery for that time period.

Buying online always carries a risk, so only purchase from sites that are secure. Make sure that your antivirus and spyware software is updated and turned on. For additional Internet security, create unique passwords. Use letters and numbers and if possible, don't even use real words. Although identity theft is a real problem, these simple tips offer solutions to curb this crime.

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