Were you aware that victims of identity theft report spending more than 80 hours and near $ 600 to solve issues regarding the theft? That's what a Nationwide survey showed--and it's the
reason why it's essential to be sure burglars don't have the opportunity to steal your information in the first place. These easy measures may assist you to protect your identity if you're at
home or on the road:
- Shred identifying papers. Make use of a crosscut shredder to destroy any printed account statements, receipts or promotional credit offers before you throw them away. Many identity thieves
gain the info that they need merely by going through their victims' litter.
- Review your personal credit report frequently. As well as reviewing your monthly account statements promptly, take the required time to buy a free credit history every year from each of the
three credit reporting agencies. You don't need to order them all at the same time. Consider ordering your free report from Equifax one month,
Experian four months later and TransUnion four months after it to get a better perspective of the credit activity through the year.
- Use protection and encryption programs on your personal computer and digital data. In addition to installing a firewall on your own personal computer network, be certain to password protect
your wireless service at home--and don't transmit private information over open wireless networks like these at most restaurants and resorts. Also, take the simple measure of password protecting
your smart-phone and personal computer, screensaver and any files that comprise personal or financial data.
- Stay aware of your surroundings. At the ATM or checkout counter, block the keypad from view with your hand or body. Take your receipt if you leave. Moreover, be careful not to discard
receipts or identifying files in view of others. And be careful about providing your account number or password to anybody over the telephone, particularly if you are where others can hear you.
- Consider ID Theft Coverage. That's correct. A credit monitoring service such as Lifelock, Privacy Guard, or Trusted
ID can assist you to protect yourself from further harm and recover your information, should you choose to end up being the victim of identity theft.