How to Prevent Identity Theft

Identity theft is the practice of using another individual’s personal data without their knowledge, most commonly for financial gains. The victim of identity theft will need to clear their identity, a process that will involve several steps as well as make an effort to regain their identity and compromised information.  In this article, we share some tips on how to prevent identity theft.

Do not overshare, online and offline

This involves both sharing on social media and writing down account details or PINs and leaving them unprotected. Giving out too many personal details on social media may prompt criminals to use some of it in order to crack security questions or even passwords. You should always properly store sensitive information as well as properly discard of old credit cards or bank statements, insurance forms and other documents containing personal information. It is also important to avoid sharing your social security number.

Even when, despite these good practices, you have been the victim of identity theft, a team of fraud lawyers in London can help you.  Moreover, you should contact all of your creditors, the banks and companies with which you have ongoing services contracts and inform them of the breach, as well as freeze the related accounts.

Use strong passwords

Using strong passwords that contain letters, upper and lower case, as well as numbers and special characters (when permitted) is important. Very simple or obvious passwords, as well as those with personal details, should be avoided. This practice is aided in the general guidelines for choosing a password when opening a new account when you are asked to use numbers as well as uppercase letters for a new password. It is also recommended to change your passwords from time to time.

Be vigilant

Prevention is key, this is why it is recommended to remain vigilant when traveling (and using ATMs, for example) or when shopping online as well as when receiving suspicious emails (both spam and phishing emails).  Regularly checking your credit reports and monitoring your online accounts is a good practice that will help you remain aware of the related activity.

By employing a few key practices, you can protect yourself from identity theft. If this does happen, the sooner you can identify any suspicious activity, the sooner you can begin to treat the problem. 

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