Identity theft also known as identity fraud is the way in which thieves steal another person’s identity and use that identity for financial gain. A person’s identity includes social security number, credit card, debit card etc. Once a person is able to steal your identity he or she can operate your bank accounts and steal your money. There have been many cases where people have gone from being rich to bankruptcy within a few days. A lot of people know about the impending threat to their identity but they do not take the necessary action to forestall the threat as they feel that it will happen to others and not to them per se.
There are many identity thieves who steal your data by shoulder surfing, wherein they watch you entering credit card data or they watch and note down the number that you feed in etc. They go through your garbage to obtain data. If you get a lot of credit card offers, pre-approved loans etc., and if you are one among the many who throws it into a dustbin after a cursory glance, then be ready for an attack on your identity. The most common and the favourite haunt of identity thieves is the internet. The internet with its complexities is difficult to monitor always. You may receive emails asking for your personal data and believing the email if you send the information your identity can be compromised. And then there are hackers who place Trojans, key loggers and the like on your computer to steal your data.
So how can you save yourself from identity theft? There is no hard and fast rule that says that if you do this then you will not be attacked by identity thieves. The way to be safe is to use prudence while handling your personal information. You should not freely give away information which can be misused and you could pay a heavy price for that. If somebody posing as a representative of a bank asks for personal info such as your mother’s maiden name etc, you should become alert and not give such information. In fact, you should ask that person to send the details of the bank’s requirement by post. These are some of the things that you can do personally to stay safe.
Another and most important step that you need to take is to hire the services of an identity theft protection company. There are many identity theft protection providers and after going through many websites and reviews, I was impressed personally with Lifelock reviews given by real users. These people have used the service and are reportedly very happy with the services that they are getting. Lifelock is a company that has been in existence for long and their customer service has won many awards too. They regularly do surveillance on black market websites so that you are safe. They also provide wallet protection which helps if your credit cards and debit cards are misused.