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Protect Yourselves From Identity Theft

Have you heard about theft? Or do you even know what damage it will do to your credit account? If not, then here are a few things to give you an idea. Your credit account is like your invisible money and your reputation within a card and a compiled in a set of papers.

All of your transactions are recorded, whether you want it to be or not. It will show everything about you, how responsible you are with your money, bills etc. All of that will attract thieves and if you’re one of the unlucky ones, then you might lose everything you’ve worked hard for. What these thieves do is that they will use your information and use your account to buy or get whatever they want using your using your money. But don’t fret; there are ways that you can do to prevent this from happening.

Practical Steps You Can Take Along With Credit Check Monitoring Services

There are many ways that we can find ourselves vulnerable to attack from credit card thieves every day if we’re not careful. In order to protect ourselves from identity thieves we need to always try to stay at least one step ahead of the criminals that are trying to get at our most valuable asset, our identity. While it is always good to have some credit check monitoring in place to alert us of occasions where things might be wrong, practicing a little common sense and taking a few precautionary steps on our own can also provide some major benefits.

credit check monitoring

Monitoring Your Own Credit

You are allowed by law to receive a copy of your personal credit report once a year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. If you make it a habit of ordering from each of the three major reporting agencies once every four months you’ll be able to see clearly just how your own personal credit behaviors are measuring up. Checking these reports for any suspicious activity can reveal very quickly if your personal information has been compromised in any way. If you do this in lieu of using a regular credit check monitoring service you’ll find yourself vulnerable during those extra months when you don’t have a report. To fill in the gaps, you’ll have to also closely check your bank account statements and other bills to make sure that there are no unauthorized transactions.

Use a Credit Freeze

You can also effectively place a credit freeze on your credit report. This will prevent any unauthorized access to prevent any fraudster from opening new accounts in your name. It is important for you to realize though that a credit freeze also does not guarantee that an identity thief cannot access your personal information. It merely serves as a deterrent from opening new accounts in your name. If a thief has access to your existing credit card numbers, he can easily rack up a number of bills using that credit instead. When you have credit check monitoring you will be able to identify the exposure as soon as it happens and take necessary steps to curtail the damages.

Watch Out for Dumpster Divers

You may not think that your personal information is worth anything to a thief but even the smallest bit of information can be well worth the hunt for them. Your garbage bin can represent a virtual goldmine if they can gain access to it. For them, it is like putting together a personal jigsaw puzzle of your life. To reduce your level of risk, make sure that you shred any document containing sensitive information like your SSN or account numbers to make sure that they cannot be read before you throw them out.

credit check monitoring

Many credit monitoring experts like those at http://www.identityguard.com/credit-monitoring/ will advise you that it is very important to exercise caution in all cases where your personal information may be exposed. Always verify any website that you’re dealing with before providing personal information in order to minimize the risks that you might be exposed to when online. If you’re not 100% sure that the site is secure, avoid doing business with them and find another site to provide your personal needs.

Why Businesses Also Need To Be Concerned About Fraud Protection

The average consumer is not the only target for identity theft these days. Businesses also are steadily becoming a preferred target for various forms of cyber crime and are slowly realizing that they need to consider getting some type of fraud protection in order to guard their interests. According to a survey by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, nearly half of the businesses they studied globally and 88% of US companies reported that they had been victims of some type of fraud. For a business to stay alive in this turbulent economy they must not only focus on beating their competition but they also have to beat cyber criminals at their own game.

fraud protection

The Impact of Fraud on a Business

While the media has turned its attention full force on consumers that have become victims of fraud, the reality is that businesses are more likely to be a target than a small time consumer. They often have less fraud protection and are more likely to be held accountable for fraudulent charges than a consumer would. The impact of a business being victimized goes much further than you might expect. They are often held accountable to their banks, shareholders, insurers, credit card processors and other entities and will take longer to recover their losses because of it. While fraud is a major part of a business’ life, when things like data breaches occur, it can be detrimental to their existence and the consumers who are connected to them.

Electronic Fraud

Those who are running a business have to keep their eyes open for every possible type of fraud. Businesses have always had to be concerned with internal crimes from either their employees or customers but now more than ever they have to give special attention to the prevalence of electronic crimes. As modern technology continues to make advancements, they will have to find some kind of fraud protection to shield them from third parties hacking into their systems, slamming (the act of changing their phone service without their knowledge), identity theft, and other types of electronic fraud. These crimes are often committed out of sight through electronic channels that are hard to track and difficult to discover. Data breaches are very common among businesses these days, making it very difficult to do much more than notify their customers that their personal information they’ve entrusted to them has been compromised.

How to Protect Your Business

It is difficult to prevent electronic fraud from occurring; this type of crime does not usually leave a trail that is easy to trace. Experts recommend that each business has its own anti-fraud policies in place to root out potential defects in their system where a thief may be able to get in and expose them. They can also divide responsibilities so that they can reduce the risk of fraudulent activity coming from within and conducting regular audits to monitor activity in order to root out vulnerabilities.

fraud protection

Experts that offer fraud protection also believe that reminding consumers that any business they entrust their personal information with is at risk of a data breach at anytime. Everyone should be regularly checking their credit reports and monitoring their identity to ensure that their personal information has not been compromised.

Proactive Steps For Maintaining Your Own Identity Protection

While identity theft has become a common problem, no one really expects that they will become a victim. Once you’ve become a target of identity theft, it is hard to recover from it. Most identity thieves are very good at using your information until they can no longer gain access and then disappear. But they don’t usually discard your information when they are done with it; instead, they will sell it to another thief who will after some time, hit you again. Your best defense against making identity theft recovery a life long occupation is to take extra care and use practical identity protection methods to keep them from gaining access to your information in the first place.

identity protection

Invest in a Shredder

Statistics show that more than 40% of identity theft happens because of stolen documents. When we have documents that are no longer of use to us, we tend to fall back on our natural habit of tossing them into the trash. We forget about the sensitive material that it contains. Identity thieves are not above rooting around in your garbage for your old bills and papers. They may be able to give them just enough information about you to gain access to your credit. Your best method of identity protection is to invest in a shredder so that whatever goes into your garbage is completely destroyed.

Get Some Back Up

It is possible for you to monitor your own credit activity but it will require an investment in time. Most of us are far too busy to spend time every day watching for some sign of suspicious activity on our credit report. If you’re like most people, you’ll lose interest and forget about it after a while. It is best to enlist the aid of an identity protection service to monitor and track your credit activity over time. Not only can they keep up with your credit patterns they may be able to spot warning signs that you might otherwise overlook. Using services that offer identity protection can be very practical for keeping you abreast of any unusual activity that may happen with your credit.

Watch Out For Internet Scams

Whenever you’re online, regardless of your purpose you’re more exposed to identity theft than at any other time. The number of online cases of identity theft grows every year. Always exercise extreme caution when you’re online; never give out any information to websites that you’re not sure that you can trust and always check the security of a site before you proceed.

identity protection

The sad truth is that recovering from identity theft can be a long and hard road to travel. If you can catch the activity early you have a much better chance of extricating yourself from the problem altogether. Far too often, however, we find those that failed to put any type of identity protection in place and once they became victims, had to invest weeks, months, and sometimes even years to restore their good name. Learning how to be proactive in facing this problem is your best bet at protection and can keep you from having to deal with those difficult challenges.