Credit fraud can happen to anyone at any time. In order to actively fight against it, you must be aware of the ways that it can happen – and think about what you are able to do to protect against it in any way possible. While some things are simple and can be done without the aid of a computer or mobile device, others are slightly more involved, but just as effective. This type of theft is especially dangerous because it means that thieves are targeting your finances, which means that if they are able to compromise any of your bank or credit accounts, the after effects and be traumatizing and long lasting.
At home, common sense protection
This type of thing can be done with minimal effort – all it takes to protect against credit fraud if some caution and a lot of common sense. Thieves will try any number of ways to obtain the credit and financial information of others, so it’s important to cut them off before they can do real damage. Monitoring what you throw in the trash – shredding important documents and old billing statements, not simply throwing away pre approved credit card mailings, even ensuring that you don’t just toss out old bills can do wonders toward helping you stop thieves from obtaining your information. In addition to this, be careful of the information that you give out over the phone – even the most innocent sounding phone calls from strangers telling you that you’ve won something could turn out to be a con; be careful.
Practice safe Internet usage
The internet is filled with criminals, and this is often the easiest route to your most personal information. Email links, website sign ups – even social media pages all offer an opportunity for you to enter in personal information which could lead to a case of identity theft and credit fraud, so be vigilant about what (and where) you post. As it has become more common for people to use the Internet for many day to day activities, the thieves seem to come out of the woodwork, thinking up new schemes and creating new ways to compromise your information with the hope of going undetected. For this type of protection, services monitoring credit and even identity theft protection services like identity monitors are extremely useful, and plenty of information about them can be found online on websites like http://www.identityguard.com.
Keep an eye on things
Credit fraud can happen in the blink of an eye, and will only continue to get worse. For this reason, it’s important to not let your monitoring of your accounts lapse, because the longer the time between checking on things, the more time a thief has to steal from you. These programs and services can help, but you should still practice good old fashioned vigilance – there’s not any harm in periodically logging into credit and bank accounts to do more than check the balances or make a monthly payment. Catching the thieves as quickly as possible is the key factor in preventing identity theft – it gives them less time to cause trouble with money that does not belong to them.