If someone asked you, how would you define identity theft? What used to be a fairly simple definition has evolved along with technology.
With today’s ever-expanding technology, it is unfortunately getting easier and easier for hackers to steal your identity.
How can you protect yourself if it is so difficult to even define identity theft?
First of all, it is important to note that there are several different types of identity theft.
Credit card fraud is one of the most common types of identity theft. Thieves will use your credit card information to make expensive purchases in your name without you even realizing it.
Other financial identity theft fraud includes tax fraud, bank fraud, and mail fraud.
Surprisingly enough, not all cases of identity theft are done for monetary purposes. Thieves can also use your personal information for criminal activities. Your information can be given in cases of crimes or to allow a wanted criminal to hide under the safety of your name.
Other examples of criminal identity theft are drug trafficking, cyber crimes, alien smuggling, and laundering money.
After you define identity theft, it is much easier to see how you can protect yourself against the different forms.
The first and most obvious step to preventing identity theft is to never give out your personal information, especially over the internet.
Obviously no one is going to post their credit card number on their blog, but thieves can take bits and pieces of personal information that they find on the internet and put together enough to find out the rest of your information.
You should also be careful to shred any documents that contain credit card or bank information or your social security number. Digging through trash for documents like this is an old trick for thieves, but shredding your documents makes it impossible for thieves to find that information.
Checking your credit card statement each month for unfamiliar purchases and looking over your credit report every year are two ways that you can keep an eye on your credit and make sure that no one has stolen your identity.
If your credit card information is stolen, you will want to be able to act quickly so that you can have the card disabled and minimize the damage that is done.
Identity theft is a very serious thing, so consider very carefully how you will protect yourself and your good name.