7 Identity Fraud Techniques You Should Be Aware Of

Identity fraud can be costly and devastating to the individual whose identity is stolen. It often takes both time and money to undo the damage, however, the most devastating effects are often psychological. The victim may miss out on opportunities in life due to damage to the credit report as well as false criminal records. Unfortunately, it is easy to make simple mistakes that result in compromises to your identity and make you a victim of fraud.

Using a Shared Computer to Log Into Private Accounts

Public computers may have all sorts of software installed of which the user is unaware. When using a computer at the public library, hotel or an Internet cafe, use caution. Keylogger is a simple program that copies user names as well as passwords any user types.

Internet Mail Security Use

Many email systems offer a more advanced level of user security. In Gmail, the User may select a multi-factor security. Whenever you attempt to log into your account from a different computer, you must use the temporary code from a call to your cell phone from Google.

Not Erasing Hard Drives From Old Computer Equipment When Upgrading

Upgrading a computer offers many advantages. However, if you fail to erase the hard drive on the old equipment before discarding or selling it, you pass along any passwords and other information stored in the system. Deleting the file is not enough, as it only removes it from the index the computer lists. Simple tools are available to undelete files. The drive should be destroyed physically or you should use software designed to overwrite any files you delete multiple times.

Phishing Attacks

Even intelligent people fall victim to phishing attacks. These threats appear to be from a trusted sender, but are an attempt to steal your ID. Always open a new window in the browser and avoid clicking on links from an email when accessing sensitive accounts.

Social Hack

Like the phishing email, the social hack claims to be from a trusted organization. You may be contacted by telephone and ask for log in information. Before giving information, hang up and call a known telephone number for the business.

Shred Documents

Shred everything that has identifying information before discarding it. Dumpster divers still work to find information to use in stealing your identity. In just a few minutes of looking through your trash, the diver can find utility bills used to prove residency. If they search for other information that you have listed on the web, they have all they need. Switch to electronic statements from your utility bills. Ask the credit reporting agencies to stop including your credit information for companies offering preapproved credit offers.

Avoid Giving Too Much Information

If you make a purchase and the clerk asks for personal information, such as phone number, address, zip code or other personal data, politely refuse to give it. If the business has a problem with your refusal, shop elsewhere. There is no longer any need for medical providers to ask for your social security number. If you share such information it may be passed to other health providers through electronic record keeping. Once it is given, you have no way of ensuring its security.

It is always much better to prevent identity theft than to clean up the mess once it has happened.

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