Do you have a credit card?
Have you purchase something online?
Do you verify your identity using your Social Security Number?
If your answer to these questions is a one big YES, it only means that you should be on the look-out for people stealing your identity. Or what is called Identity Theft
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information, like your name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.
It is an endless process of categorizing the possibilities of having your identity stolen. Do take note that Identity Thieves strive on your personal information. This information is not stolen with out you revealing to the public. Information like your PIN code, email address, password, credit or debit card number and any sensitive data can easily be stolen. These can be retrieved from documents like billing statements. Such documents should be shredded so that no one can just look into your garbage to get your information. Also be careful in encoding credit card information online. Make sure that the website has a secure server. These sites usually have indicated the security measures in place. Lastly, be aware of your surroundings. You never know if someone is snooping whenever you are withdrawing from the Teller Machine or buying from store using your credit card.
Personal awareness of you information is the key in make sure identity is not stolen. One should regularly monitor accounts, bank statements, and credit report. Any irregularities found should right away be reported or disputed.
Bottom line, it is our own responsibility to protect our identity. If this is stolen, it is ourselves who is to be blamed. It is more difficult to dispute charges than preventing ID Theft to happen. Like the old saying, an ounce of protection against identity theft is better than pound legal disputes.