There are some prevailing myths out there about identity theft. Here’s the truth.
No. 5: Checking your credit report protects your from identity theft. Checking your report just tells you if your identity has been stolen. But you should still check it as often as possible.
No. 4: Caller ID is safe. Caller IDs are easily spoofed with technology that allows the bad guy to change what shows up on your handset. First, no matter who calls, never give personal information to anyone over the telephone. If you initiated the call or are sure of the person at the other end of the call, it’s okay. Be sure to check the person and/or organization out thoroughly and verify the call before you respond to any questions.
No. 3: Technology and computers are why identity theft is so big. Certainly data breaches are responsible for some identity theft. However, low-tech identity theft is the bigger problem. A lost or stolen wallet, or stolen debit or credit card, is still the most common way identity theft happens.
No. 2: Identity theft is only a financial crime. There is also medical identity theft, which is when someone poses as you to get medical attention. Then there’s criminal identity theft, which is where a thief commits one or more crimes using your identity. Then there’s employment fraud, where a person uses your Social Security number to get a job. And don’t forget about identity cloning, which is where a thief uses your information to avoid law enforcement or others. In other words, there’s a world of ways an identity thief can take advantage of his victims.
And at No. 1: You can’t protect yourself from identity theft. Some, but not all, identity theft is preventable. There are many things you can do to minimize your risk, both online and off. Shred anything that has your personal information on it before you dispose of it. Keep financial records protected and private, in a locking file cabinet. Opt out of junk mail. Get a locking mailbox. Protect your personal information, and don’t provide it to anyone unless you know how it will be used and protected.
The best thing you can do is to sign up for the proactive services offered by LifeLock. LifeLock will monitor for any threat to your personal information, whether credit-related or not, and notify you the minute any threat is detected. And if there’s ever any issue while you’re a LifeLock customer, you’ll be notified immediately, and LifeLock will work with you to resolve the issue.
Call LifeLock today. Receive 30 days free and get a 10 percent discount on enrollment with the LifeLock Promo Code “Defense.”