Identity theft is a huge problem indeed. There are many protective measures that one can take to prevent identity theft but it is important to know where to start and how to proceed because it is a vast chain and one needs to safeguard himself in every possible way one can. Below are given a few tips which can be handy to protect you from identity theft.
Protection from Income-tax identity theft
Income tax identity theft is a dangerous form of identity theft whose chance can be lessened by filing your income tax early before the identity thief can hit the blow. There are some other ways also to combat income tax identity theft.
Protection by intelligent and smart setting of Security Questions
A huge advantage for the identity thieves is that they can get into your account without even knowing your passwords and simply by answering your Security question. Now there is a thing with this Security question. There is no hard and fast rule by any means that it has to be logical. For instance the Security question is set as “What is your nickname”? And your nickname happens to be David but you can make it whatever you like. What it does is it makes it difficult on the part of the identity thief to predict and break it.
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Protection by keeping your anti-virus and anti-malware software always updated
It is absolutely critical that you have the updated versions of your anti-virus and anti-malware softwares not only in your desktops and laptops but also in your smartphones. Also do patch your security software early as soon as they are available. Instances are numerous where people have been victim of identity thefts through malware attacks which could have been easily avoided had they installed the latest security patches of their security software which were available by then. However, it is important to note here that even you have it covered by having all the latest software and security patches installed you are still very much susceptible due to zero day exploits and newly discovered vulnerabilities in your electronic devices. So never click on any unknown links which you have no idea about. Only click on links and download attachments when you are absolutely sure of their legitimacy.
Protection by avoiding elementary mistakes
Since identity theft is a high-tech, low-tech and no-tech crime, so dispose of documents with personal information such as old credit card bills by shredding them can also be ominous for you as they are the identity thief’s treasure. So it is highly recommended that you strictly stay away from such kind of things.
Protection by always using EMV chip credit cards and limiting the use of debit cards
Always use an EMV chip credit card and limit the use of debit card in the ATM. Also do not use your debit card for shopping because the laws that protect you from liability for fraudulent charges on your debit card are not as strong as those that protect you from fraudulent charges on your credit card. So always keep this in mind while you transact with your card or shop.
Protection by freezing your credit report
Freezing your credit report is the finest, the most effective and the biggest shield to protect yourself from an identity theft because with it done even if an identity thief somehow manages to obtain your Social Security Number he cannot make large purchases in your name.