With daily reports of internet scams and data leaks, protection from identity theft is something that everyone needs to think about. If you have a social security number, then you are burdened with the need to protect it from being compromised.
If someone gains your personal information, they can use it to do all sorts of malicious things that will completely mess up your credit and your finances. Victims of identity theft frequently end up spending months upon months settling all of the problems that arise from having their identity stolen. Sometimes you can even end up owing a great deal of money. So, you should do everything you can to protect yourself.
Even though there's no way to get total protection from identity theft, you need to realize that identity theft is most often a crime of convenience. Making it difficult for someone to swipe your identity will decrease your odds of becoming a victim, because identity thieves look for easy targets.
First, you should take preemptive measure to prevent your information from getting in the hands of thieves. Never throw away sensitive documents that contain things like social security numbers, bank account numbers, or anything else related to your finances. Instead, run them through the shredder, or dispose of them in some other way that renders them unreadable. This will take care of many chances that a thief would have to get your data.
You should also be careful when doing anything on the computer. Phishing is when a hacker simulates a web site that you trust, for the purpose of getting you to enter your personal data. You could also fall victim to a keylogger, which transmits everything you enter to the hacker. So, you should equip your computer with the latest anti-virus software in order to protect yourself from these threats.
You may also choose to get identity theft insurance in the event that your data is stolen somehow. Identity theft insurance costs around $9-30 per month. If you have your identity stolen, it will cover many of the costs involved in recovering your identity. They will pay for things like phone charges, mailing charges, attorney costs, and fees incurred from the companies that you deal with during your attempt to recover your identity. Before signing up with a service, be sure to read what they cover and how you will be charged.
The following articles also offer more information on protection from identity theft: