Identity theft, as man people know, has become a huge problem in our society. One that is not going away anytime soon. It’s actually growing and getting worse. Unfortunately, there is no surefire way to prevent identity theft. There are, however, some things you can do to make yourself less susceptible. If you want to try to prevent identity theft, you should follow these simple guidelines.
#1.) Limit the number of credit cards and debit cards you carry with you. The less cards you keep in your wallet, pocket or purse, the less likely you are to carelessly leave one somewhere or accidentally lose one. You should try to cut back to one debit card and one credit card. If you must have more than that, have them but keep them at home.
#2.) Don’t make purchases with a debit card online. Credit card purchases are much more secure online. Once someone has your debit card number, any money they spend will disappear from your account almost immediately and be much harder to dispute.
#3.) Never give out your social security number, credit card/debit card number, or any other personal information over the phone, through mail, or especially online. Unless it is a trusted company or source that you have an established and trusted relationship with that is asking for your information, don’t give it out.
#4.) Always keep an eye on your card when making purchases. Whether you are at a restaurant, department store, or gas station, keep a close eye on the clerk as they swipe your card and give you your receipt. It only takes a second for a pro to copy your information. Some of the people who have been committing identity theft for a long enough time can even memorize your number if they look at it long enough.
#5.) Never throw away your receipts in public trash cans, and always try to save them. First, this will prevent another person from finding your receipt and gathering any information from it that they could use to steal your identity. Second, if you feel you have been the victim of identity theft and you need to dispute a purchase, you can refer to your receipts to be sure you didn’t purchase something you may have forgotten about.
#6.) Open a Paypal account for making online purchases. Most websites these days accept Paypal as a valid payment type. This way you can spend money online without having to enter your debit or credit card number.
Like I said, there is not an absolute way to prevent identity theft, unless you simply don’t ever use a debit or credit card, which isn’t very realistic. The best thing you can do is follow the advice I gave you and always be as cautious as possible. Most identity theft is the result of something careless the card holder may have did. Just be careful whenever using your credit or debit card to make a purchase, no matter where you are, and especially online.