With new advancements in technology come new concerns for consumers and identity fraud protection is one such concern. The most important approach to protecting one’s identity is for that person to get informed and to be proactive.
To begin, it is recommended that a social security number be kept secret and only used when this is necessary. Employers require a social security number for tax purposes and many other businesses will ask for this information for the purposes of a credit check. This is acceptable but the individual is not required to share their number and should inquire as to what efforts are made by the business to protect that information.
Similar to the social security number, any other account numbers, which have information that is attached to a person, should also be disposed of carefully. Shredding old documents such as banking or credit card statements and previously paid bills should be common practice.
Another thing to consider is the physical property that one carries with them regularly. A person should always be conscious of where their wallet, purse, backpack, briefcase, computer, and phone is and should limit the amount of information placed in or on these items.
The internet is another area of concern. A person should be mindful of their on-line activity and only provide delicate information on secured trusted websites over encrypted connections. It is also a good idea to create multiple password sets that are nonsensical and difficult to guess. When information is provided, the recipient should be verified by retyping a URL or e-mail address as opposed to only following links or hitting the reply button.
Preventative maintenance is easier than the retroactive repair of personal information after a theft has taken place. A general understanding of these and other methods of identity fraud protection is encouraged.