You may not realize it, but criminals can get our personal information fairly easily. In public places, thieves can shoulder surf as you type in your PIN number or credit card number, or they can listen while you give this information over the telephone.
Another way they get to information is by dumpster diving, which is when they go through garbage bins or even the trash cans out by the curb for pickup. By doing this, they can easily find checks, credit card or bank statements, or even pre-approved credit offers you’ve tossed.
Speaking of pre-approved credit card offers, be sure you shred them before you dispose of them. You may think since the offer is blank, you can just trash it. But a criminal can fill it in, using the information already printed on it, and obtain a credit card. He’ll then use that card to rack up thousands of dollars in debt – and you will be the responsible party, without even knowing it.
The Internet has also become a common tool for identity thieves. Criminals use hacking, social media, phishing and other techniques to obtain your personal and financial information. You may even find your computer infected with malware – and it’s because of something you downloaded. Be sure of what you are downloading and of the source.
Once a criminal has your information, or at least enough of it, he can apply for loans and credit cards, make withdrawals from your bank accounts, and get other good and privileges.
Take steps to protect yourself and your information today. Call LifeLock – LifeLock can lock down your information and help protect you against identity theft.