It is unfortunate that the question, “How can I protect myself from identity theft?” is now so frequently posed. There was a time in the not-so-distant past when people didn’t really worry about identity theft. If it ever even crossed their minds, it was because they had lost a social security card, a driver’s license, or a birth certificate. Now, though, with so many people putting vital information onto the Internet, identity theft can occur without the loss of a single government document. This federal crime is now occurring more and more often. In 2003, nearly 10 million people were victimized by incidents of identity theft, and since then, that number has only risen.
A Modern Concern
Most Americans, at one time or another, have clicked onto a secure website and entered in a social security or credit card number. Unfortunately, these secure sites are not always as secure as they lead people to believe. News stories have run about hackers getting into secure university or government databases and stealing thousands of people’s information just to show that they could do it. However, before people give in completely to paranoia, they should know that there are ways to protect against identity theft.
Using Credit Cards and Credit Reports to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
Credit card companies have begun to produce cards that do a very good job of guarding against fraud. Thewas one of the first cards to use advances in technology to ensure that a cardholder’s account information was protected. Blue, and similar cards from other companies, have done their part to help cut back on identity theft.
“How can I protect myself from identity theft?”
Remain Vigilant. Getting regular credit reports is a very easy way to protect against identity theft. Gross changes in a credit score can indicate that someone has been making large purchases, running up credit card bills, or in some cases, taking out loans in another person’s name. Also, if a person sees that claims have been made on a credit report that do not pertain to him, he can dispute those claims and, with the help of a professional credit service, find out if identity theft or deception of another kind has taken place. The question of protecting yourself from identity theft is one that should only be asked once–after that, people should take the necessary safeguards.