Unlike any other crime that may be committed against you, identity theft is very different. This type of crime actually comes in two stages; the first is to steal the personal information from you, and the second phase is using that information to access your personal records, finances, or other type of business. Protecting your identity requires understanding both stages of the crime in order to fully understand exactly how much you're at risk and what you can do about it.
How Identity Theft Works With Online Shopping
The average person does not usually realize how easy it is to set up a website and post pictures of things to sell. If you have even the most basic knowledge of computers you can have your own website set up and running in less than an hour and the cost would be nominal; less than twenty dollars in most cases. There are no special licenses or permits required and no ID has to be shown. So, when you come across a nice looking website with that great outfit you just have to have all you need to do is put in your credit card information and wait for it to come in the mail. The problem is that there are a lot of websites out there designed to attract your attention with the sole purpose of getting you to give them your credit card information. If you're protecting your identity, it would be advisable to do your online shopping through well-established and reputable online shopping sites.
How Identity Theft Works With Your ATM Machine
You also have to be extra careful when you use your ATM. Identity thieves use a device called a card reader over the card slot on the machine and wait for you to insert your card. The device is well made and is designed to look like it's a part of the machine. Once you insert your card, it captures your number and PIN. With that information, they can now return and completely drain your card. A useful tip when protecting your identity is to always use the same ATM. That way, you'll be able to tell the subtle difference in the machine when a skimmer has been attached to it. Experts recommend that you use an ATM at a bank rather than other establishments simply because the security is much tighter than at a store or another type of business.
There is much more involved in taking care of your personal identity. We've all heard the same advice on how to prevent identity theft but the best is to get some expert help. With Identity Guard protecting your identity, for instance, you would be warned early on when someone is trying to make use of your identity as this activity will usually be reflected in the credit reports that are regularly monitored. No one becomes an identity thief overnight; it's a trade that is studied, practiced, and developed over the years. They spend a lot of time learning computer systems, techniques, and strategies. Don't you think that as consumers, we should learn as much as we can about how to fend them off?