Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Defend Yourself from Online Identity Theft

By Paul Cameron

Identity theft is an issue that we all need to take seriously. Large numbers of people become a victim to this crime every day, and normally pay a high price for it. This means taking your personal details and using it for dishonest purposes.

Your personal computer is the most recent setting for identity theft to take place. In fact, internet identity theft is a serious problem. A smart identity thief will have no problem accessing your private data. With it, he can wipe out your credit, which could take years to repair even if you can prove you are a victim.

Getting a new computer is a typical situation in which thieves can infiltrate your private information. People can be so excited about their new computer that they simply unplug the old one and set it aside until it is time to dispose of it.

This is a very bad idea. The hard drive still contains your internet history, emails, bookmarks, and passwords. Someone only has to take it home and plug it in to see what you have been doing, purchasing, and looking at.

The internet itself is used to gain access to all kinds of confidential information. Post-secondary students have a higher risk since their grades and personal information are often available online for them to check. All it takes is somebody to figure out their password and they now have everything they need.

It's easy to stop this from occurring to start with. Use complicated passwords. Don't use anything that's linked to you. Do not use names, numbers or dates. Your password ought to be 8 to 10 characters in length, making use of both letters and numbers. That is very challenging to crack.

Checking your credit report is another smart way to safeguard against identity theft. Check it every two or three months for questionable activity. Make certain that all of the activity reported is bona fide.

A great tip is to be highly careful about your credit card particulars when purchasing anything on the internet. Be picky about your shopping sites, and avoid those with which you are unfamiliar. Make certain that the websites you order from are safe and your privacy is protected.

In addition, be careful which emails you answer. Often, scammers will send you a bogus email that's attempting to obtain your personal details deceitfully. They may say that you were accepted for a job that you applied for on the internet, or pretend to be a bank or other financial institution, in order to get your personal data.

Even though you cannot guarantee that you'll never be a victim of online identity theft, by following this helpful advice you ought to feel a lot safer.

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