Identity theft is something that you cannot prevent 100%. Many times your personal information is in the hands of others and therefore you cannot completely keep your information safe. However, you do have some control over the situation. You can ensure that nobody will steal your identity on your watch.
Dealing With Reputable Companies
While you cannot control what happens when you are working with companies, lenders and others who have your personal information, you do have control over who you do business with. You should always check into a company before doing business with them and before handing over any of your personal information.
You should check out a company with the Better Business Bureau and make sure that they have no outstanding complaints related to identity protection theft. Check into the ways that they keep your private information protected and ensure they are set up to deal with a problem with identity protection theft should it arise.
While you do not have a lot of control over your personal information when it is in the hands of a company, you can make sure that you do everything possible to ensure that, that company will treat your personal information with care.
Handle With Care
You also have to be responsible yourself. You have to do everything possible to ensure that you do not let someone get a hold of your personal information and steal your identity. Some things you can do are simple common sense, but many times people make careless mistakes and this is what an identity thief is waiting for.
A major rule, that every debit card issuer tells you, is not to carry your pin number with your card. Still, many people do not follow this rule. It would be so simple for someone to find the card with the pin written on it and use it. It is simple. Just do not keep your pin number with your card.
Another simple thing you can do is to not toss mail or other personal papers that have any sensitive information on them. Shred all documents. It may surprise you to find out that many identity thieves get their information by going through the trash.
Also be careful online. While shopping online is actually very secure, there are other ways that being online can get you in trouble. Never give out personal information through an email. Never follow email links to websites. Instead type the address in the browser. Scam emails are all too common of a way that thieves operate.
Finally, be prepared. Keep the phone numbers for the customer service lines for every credit card and bank account that you have on hand. This way if your wallet or purse gets stolen then you can start making calls to put holds on all your accounts.
In general, to protect yourself from identity theft you have to be proactive. You need to watch out for yourself in everything that you do. You must be smart about how your handle your personal information and always have an eye out for someone who may be trying to steal your identity.