Many people have fallen victim to identity theft, a crime that has been rising for the last five-to-ten years in the United States. Recent studies and surveys suggest that over 12 million people have been victims of some form of identity theft within the last year alone.
Children are no exception as they too have been and can be victims of identity theft. For this reason, it’s very important to protect valuable information that criminals can get their hands on to steal you or your child’s identity for whatever reason. Fortunately, there are various things you can do to protect your personal and private information that will safe-guard you from ever becoming a victim of identity theft.
While identity theft is frustrating, time-consuming to fix and quiet stressful, it’s something that can be avoided from ever happening to you. Before we go into discussing the different ways you can make sure to protect your identity, let’s first discuss the dangerous of identity theft and the different types of identity theft there is.
There are numerous different types of identity theft but the most common are financial identity theft, criminal identity theft, employment identity theft, social security identity theft, medical identity theft, license identity theft, child identity theft and business identity theft, just to name a few. All of these different types identity theft can be devastating and damaging to someone.
Whether the criminal is a friend, relative or a stranger, identity theft means using someone’s personal and private information and using it to get employment, buy things unlawfully, get medical treatment or the worst, and take out hundreds of dollars without the permission or the knowledge of the victim.
When someone finds out that he or she has become a victim of identity theft it can be overwhelming and very difficult to reverse the harm that has been done. If money was stolen, it’s usually really difficult to get back that money. Many people have lost a lot of money to identity theft.
Another way identity theft can affect someone is that the person’s record can be filled with bad crimes. This is what happens when someone’s name and birth date is used by someone else who has committed crimes such as traffic violations to more serious crimes such as violence and rape.
Now that you understand the dangerous of and different types of identity theft, how can you protect yourself and your loved ones?
The answer is simple: protect your personal information! Don’t ever leave your personal belongings unattended in places such as bathrooms, bars, airports or even schools and churches. It’s important to always have your purses and wallets with you at all times. This way no one can gain access to your credit cards and license. Don’t keep your social security card and passport in your wallet or purse; rather keep them in a safe place at home and take them out only when necessary.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is to dump their mail in public trash cans without removing personal information such as their names, addresses and phone numbers. This is one of the east ways that criminals usually find people’s information. This can be easily avoided by buying a paper shredder and using that before trashing your unwanted mail.