Disposing of Confidential Information - Avoiding Identity Theft

You're probably already aware of the threat of identity theft but have no idea how you can protect yourself from it. Identity theft is a crime which is on the increase. Every year there are more reports of cases where people have suffered from identity theft. The real figure might be much higher because people are often ashamed to come forward after falling for such crimes. While most people are aware of the threat of identity theft they don't realize that they can reduce the chances of it happening to them.

The truth is that identity theft really can affect anyone. What's more, it's impossible to completely eliminate the risk of identity theft. The best you can possibly manage to do is to reduce the risk of identity theft.

Preventing Identity Theft

To protect your identity and prevent yourself from suffering from identity theft then you need to protect your personal information. It can, however, be very confusing to find out exactly which information you should keep secret. The key here is to keep as much information as possible private.

There are a number of secret methods that criminals can use to get their hands on your personal information. It's important to familiarize yourself with these tricks so that you can protect yourself. Identity tricksters can make use of various different pieces of your personal information including your date of birth, address, and social security number. For the criminals to succeed they need to get their hands on as much of your identity as possible.

Careful Disposal

It's essential that you are very careful about what you throw away. While you might not believe that anyone would ever look through your trash, this really does happen on a fairly regular basis. This is one of the easiest ways for criminals to get their hands on your identity. Lots of people throw away their bank statements and utility bills without destroying them first.

Your trash might be disgusting but the potential returns are so high that people will brave it. Criminals have no problem hunting through your trash bins until they find exactly what they are looking for.

Be Careful Who's Listening

When you are talking to anyone on the phone then you need to be very careful because you don't know who is listening to your conversation. This might not be an issue at home with your family and friends. However, you may have a potential problem when you consider your mobile phone conversations. You could be talking about anything and it's possible for anyone to listen into your conversations.

They will be able to listen to you for a long time slowly building up a picture of your identity. Just because your conversation on the phone is private it doesn't mean that everyone will respect this privacy. If you are talking about anything personal then you need to consider who is listening to you.

Checking Your Credit

To find out whether you have suffered from identity theft you need to get in touch with the three major credit bureaus. These can provide you with a monitoring service which will alert you should anything abnormal happen.

You can't just believe that it will never happen to you because the odds are stacked against you. The best you can do is limit your exposure to this risk and prepare to fight back if you do suffer from identity theft.

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Spyware has many ways of getting onto your computer, such as:

When you download programs - particularly freeware, or peer-to-peer sharing programs.

More covertly, spyware can install itself just by you visiting certain sites, by prompting you to download an application to see the site properly.

ActiveX controls. These pesky spyware makers will prompt you to install themselves while using your Internet browser