When someone else is using the identity of another person without their consent for financial gain usually, it is called as identity theft.
Surprisingly, in 2014, out of seven persons, one person in the USA had been a victim of identity theft. The victims were all above the age of 16. The total amounted to 17 million people who were victims of identity theft in 2014 in the USA.
Therefore, in this electronic world, your data of credit card is out there somewhere for sure. So, it will be smarter if you can take steps that can prevent your personal information being used by some unknown thieves out there and take advantage of your hard-earned money.
- Lock or Freeze your credit card: You can either lock your account or freeze it. Freezing will restrict access to your account by anyone till you unfreeze it. A small fee might be deducted from your account for freezing it. The other option is to lock your account. You can lock or unlock your account through a smartphone. Free apps can be downloaded to lock or unlock your account. Only one problem with locking your account is that it has less legal protection compared to freezing your account.
- Social Security Number safeguard: You should protect your social security number as best as you can as it is the social security number through which every other financial transaction is dealt. Better never carry your card with you and if anyone asks you for the number, as for them why they are asking and how will the number be protected.
- Password: Try to put a combination of characters, numbers and special characters, and for different accounts use different passwords. Hackers can guess your last name, or your mother’s maiden name or your pets name or can find out some way or the other.
- Don’t share your information with unknowns: You shouldn’t allow others to check your whole profile if you are into social media. You also avoid false phone call who asks for your information via phone. You should also avoid the emails whose sender is unknown to you.
- Careful when shopping in stores: As per the Federal Trade Commission’s suggestion:
- Remember about your wallet all the times
- When dealing with credit or debit card, make sure no one is putting it in their coat and exchanging it or noting the security code of the card
- Never share your PIN with anyone, and don’t write your PIN on your card or anywhere in the wallet
You should also take care that your mobile devices are protected by passwords. You should monitor your bank statements frequently. And lastly, you might think that you have protected your identity with every possible way to make it safe, but for identity theft prevention, you always need to stay alert.