Identity theft is real and it affects both adults and children. There are five types of identity theft that typically threaten and damage individuals and families. So, how do you protect yourself from one of the fastest growing crimes in America? How to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft Online? Identity protection begins with understanding each of the five types of identity theft threats and taking precautions to minimize your odds of becoming a victim. While identity fraud can encompass a vast range of crimes, the five most common types of identity theft are the character or criminal, drivers license, financial or credit, medical and social security.
5 Types of Identity Theft Online you need to Know:
- Criminal Identity Theft: Criminal Identity Theft also known as character id theft, is when a person arrested or detained by a law enforcement officer for criminal activities uses your name and personal information as their own identity. This can affect your ability to obtain loans and the opportunity to get a good job.
- Drivers License Identity Theft: Drivers License Identity Theft occurs when someone is stopped for a traffic violation and uses your name and information for the legal report. Depending upon the traffic citation, your license could be suspended or revoked without you even knowing it.
- Credit Identity Theft: Credit Identity Theft or financial id theft, is when thieves use your basic information such as your name, address, social security number, credit card numbers, bank information or any legal documents to destroy your credit and good name. This can occur as a result of credit card fraud, bank fraud, computer and telecommunication fraud, tax refund fraud and mail fraud, which can leave you with thousands of dollars of debt and a bad credit score in need of being restored.
- Medical Identity Theft: Medical Identity Theft is the alteration of your medical records and the act of someone using your personal information so that they can receive treatment. This may prevent you from receiving the medical treatment you need and leave you with hundreds of dollars’ worth of bills for treatments that you never received.
- Social Security Identity Theft: Social Security Identity Theft is when a thief uses your social security number and name for employment, to make purchases, apply for loans, or to open new credit card accounts for fraudulent activities. Even though you never saw the money, wages reported using your identity are viewed as additional income. Inaccurate reporting of your earnings affects your taxes and future social security benefits.
How to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft Online: 7 ways:
The most basic step to protect yourself from these types of identity theft is to keep your personal information safe and monitor how it is used. This includes keeping your personal information in a secure place and shredding your documents. Secure your personal documents and vital records in a locked drawer or cabinet, fireproof safe box, or a security deposit box. Shred anything that contains your name and personal information, paper scraps, credit card bills, bank account statements, prescription drug container papers, and any pre-approved credit card offers. Surprisingly, most id fraud is not done by strangers; the majority of it occurs through family members or friends. Keeping your sensitive information to yourself will help protect you.
As the internet becomes a more vital part of our day to day life, this medium becomes a source used by thieves to obtain your identity. Use safeguards while browsing, submit personal information and credit card details only on secure websites, and protect yourself from identity theft by using strong passwords composed of a combination of letters and numbers. Remove personal information and sensitive files from your hard drive before disposing of old computers.
Obtain and review a copy of your driving record. If you lose your health insurance card, notify your health care provider right away and request to have them change your policy number. With the exception of your employer, who needs it to withhold your taxes, DO NOT give out your social security number to just anyone. In addition to identity theft prevention practices, you also need a comprehensive credit monitoring and id theft restoration plan. That way you will have the resources and services you need if you ever become a victim to any of these types of identity theft.
Also, using an identity theft protection software will fortify your actions towards complete protection against identity theft. Windows firewall and other best free firewall software for windows also help you a little. Here are some tips to help secure from online identity theft
Chandra Shekhar Choudhary, a Digital Marketing Analyst & a Technical Content Writer is working at Systweak Software. His interest in writing is Anti Malware, Ransomware, Virus, Windows, and Mac and he is keenly interested in writing other technical blogs. Apart from writing, he loves traveling and cooking. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.
Author Name – Chandra Shekhar Choudhary