Living in the age of technology can be a wonderful thing, but it also leads to dangers that were not experienced in the past as thieves can be technologically advanced, stealing information from online sources. In the past, a thief would have to dig through the garbage, steal a purse or wallet, or find another physical means of stealing a person’s personal information so that he could use it to his own ends.
Today, thieves can phish for information through other sites, hacking in and gaining access to personal information from people who trusted the other site with their information. Identity theft prevention is an important set of information that all individuals need to know and pass on to their friends so that everyone can be protected from people who would like to steal their information.
There are many organizations that have started identity theft prevention programs to try and educate individuals on the signs that identity theft has occurred, as well as the steps to take to try and prevent identity theft from happening at all.
One tip that these organizations recommend is to check on existing checking, savings and credit card accounts on a regular basis to make sure there is not activity on those accounts that should not be there. If there is suspicious activity, the individual should report it immediately so that the thieves are more likely to get caught. In addition, the accounts can be immediately shut down so that the thieves cannot get away with as much money or items.
There are several things that individuals can do to prevent identity theft from occurring. First, personal information should never be disclosed unless it is absolutely necessary for the transaction to be processed. The social security card should be kept in a safe place and not in a purse or wallet where it could be stolen and used. In addition, the social security number should not be given out over the internet or the phone unless the individual was the one to initiate the contact so that they know who they are dealing with.
Another way to prevent identity theft that many people do not consider is to refuse to click on links that are in emails that were sent from an unsolicited email address (i.e. spam mail.) These emails with links can secretly download a virus or program into the computer that will allow the person who planted it to pull all the personal information off of the computer, including passwords and other personal information that is stored there.