Students in colleges while starting off their college lives think of many unforeseen trouble that they might land in but hardly give a thought over the fact that their very identity itself may get stolen if they don’t stay on the guard and remain vigilant. Identity theft in college is a serious menace and therefore, it should be dealt with firmly. Broadly classifying identity theft is of two kinds-
- casual or one-time opportunism
- professional organized theft
A casual identity theft involve a former roommate using your account at a local store or going online to access your account while professional organized identity theft involves criminals who are part of professional criminal enterprises.
It can bear adverse effects for you from a host of angles like affecting your credit rating, criminal record, future borrowing possibilities and your potential job opportunities as well. Since credit records of students studying in colleges are predominantly and mostly blank identity thieves see this as an opportunity to pounce upon specifically targeting them for identity theft. So in an effort to stay away and keep oneself protected from identity theft everyone should be really careful in disclosing his/her Name, Address, Telephone Number, Bank Account Number, Credit Card Details and Social Security Number in public. In fact, ideally none of them should be made open in public. It means by keeping your private information private you are ruling out the chances of yourself falling a victim to identity theft to a great extent.
In college you have to keep many things with you which are a part of your day-to-day necessity like your identity card, some important documents, etc. Now these can be a feast from the point of view of identity thieves. So here are some tips that you can implement to keep your identity safe from inquisitive eyes.
- Use a lock box or safe: Keep your important documents in a lock box or safe even if it takes some investment to get one.
- Keep your wallet always with yourself or in a safe place: Do not make the mistake of leaving your wallet in plain sight.
- Always keep your bank and credit card documents in a sheltered and secured place: Make sure that your bank account and credit card documents are kept in safe custody.
- Strongbox your valuables: Try letting your roommates not see where you store (keep) your valuables.
- Remain alert all the time: Even if you love company, still it is recommended that you keep your front and back door always locked.
- Choose your friends with great care and wisdom: Last, but certainly not the least- make friends for sure but choose them very wisely. This is so because although it is expected that only those person upon whom you have full faith on would be the ones you would invite into your room but still you should always be on your toes as maximum of the college identity theft that takes place comes from known people.
While as human beings it should be our innate nature to keep the trust upon one another going but it is similarly important to understand the fact that everyone is not the same and people needs to be treated as they are. So, it is for our own safety that we need to be extra cautious while carrying ourselves in the society, dealing with our own belongings and interacting, mixing and staying with various kind of people for prevention is always better than cure.