Identity Theft Can Literally Destroy Your Financial Life
Your personal information is vitally important to your financial health and welfare. You must do everything you can to protect yourself from those who would love to have your identity to use as they choose. It is possible for someone to assume your identity and totally destroy your reputation and your credit. Your ability to do business and borrow money is based on your history of conduct in the past. If someone harms your life through identity theft it can be a long and difficult process for you to regain your footing completely. Companies have to survive and their first inclination is to distrust you. Fraud is a common difficulty that businesses deal with and it does not matter to them who commits it. The bottom line is that they lose money.
Identity theft has a face and it is yours. If the thieves are caught they will have their day in court. Until that time, however, you will have to live with the results of someone getting your personal information and using it against you. You will have to go through a lengthy process of cancelling your credit cards and reclaiming your identity while proving to the companies with whom the identity thief has done business that you really did not purchase all those items. You will have to convince your bank that it was not you who charged the tickets to Hawaii and rented a limousine for the trip.
You must consider your personal information as a treasured prize that must be protected as well as possible. Do not leave your wallet or purse lying around. When you purchase checks have the minimum amount of personal information printed on them that you can. When you use your debit card at a store, make sure your PIN, or personal identity number, is kept secure.
If you are throwing away old mail, bills, statements, etc. which have personal or financial information on them it is a useful practice to shred them before putting them in the garbage. Each piece of information can be added together to make up a profile about you, which could be used in indentity theft.
Never share your passwords with anyone, no matter what reason they give for needing them. Never give information over the Internet, unless you are sure you need to, for example when you have sought to purchase something. If you ever receive an email asking for personal information then be very suspicious of it. For sensitive information type the URL into your browsers address bar, rather than click on a link in an email. Identity theft is a very real problem and numerous people are damaged by it every day.
The very best thing you can do to help prevent identity theft is to purchase protection. The credit agencies will be notified of your purchase and they will provide you with a fraud alert if something comes up on your credit report that is out of the ordinary. It will include a very large insurance policy against fraud if your identity is stolen while you have the policy in place. This can be a very smart purchase.