Defense Against Crime

17/12/2012

Securing Your Belongings and avoid Identity Theft

Filed under: Crime Prevention,Cyber Crimes — peppereyes @ 2:09 PM
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 Recently in South Carolina someone hacked in to the computers systems that house the individual and business Tax and business information. Needles to say many of the States residences or anyone who may have filed tax information in recent years are deeply concerned about having that information misused in the years to come. Typically Names, Addresses, Social Security Numbers and the like are sold in bulk on the black market to thieves who hope to score merchandise and cash the vendors and banks expense, and at the cost of you good name and credit. It really should be hard to convince a bank in California that you really didn’t buy a new car when you are a 70 year old female living in South Carolina and haven’t traveled much in 10 years…but it could happen.

What is Identity Theft

Identity theft is a serious crime. Identity theft and identity fraud are terms used to refer to all types of crime in which a thief wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain.”

Here Are some interesting Facts about Identity Theft

  • It affects everybody, and there is very little you can do to prevent it and worst of all-you can’t detect it until it’s probably too late.”
  • Many federal, state and local law-enforcement authorities call identity theft “the fastest growing crime across the country right now”. In fact, identity theft is the most called-about subject on the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse’s telephone hotline.
  • Over 9 Million people each year are victims of this crime.
  • Such fraud may account for as much as 25% of all credit card-fraud losses each year.
  • For the criminal, identity theft is a relatively low-risk, high-reward endeavor. Credit card issuers often don’t prosecute thieves who are apprehended. Why? The firms figure it’s not cost efficient. They can afford to write off a certain amount of fraud as a cost of doing business.
  • In many states Identity Theft is not against the law.

In Identity-theft cases, the victim often has to spend hundreds of hours to prove his or her innocence. This perplexes many new identity-theft victims. They naturally expect the police, the credit grantors, the credit-reporting services and others authorities to assist them or to understand. In the past we used to worry about pick pockets stealing our cash, or check books, buy your wallet can contain something more valuable than cash, your identity. An identity thief who gets his hands on your personal information such as Social Security, or checking account number can cause a lot more harm than one who steals a hundred dollars from your purse. While the damage to your credit can be great, there are several precautions you can do to reduce your risk and protection you private information.

Don’t Leave Valuables Unattended

Would you leave $500 in cash unattended and unguarded. Yet many people do! People leave their purse, laptops, smart phones and other mobile computing devices vulnerable to theft. One of the best things you can do to most important steps in preventing identity theft is perhaps also the simplest-don’t leave belongings containing sensitive information, such as a laptop, wallet, or mobile computing devices, unattended. Few would leave these items alone in a crowded public area, but many do so in places they feel are safe, such as work, or in their car or at the library. Who can you really trust, most businesses have plenty of people coming in and out: clients, delivery people, friends of co-workers, cleaning people, etc. A thief could steal your laptop from your car or from the library and never be seen again. While keeping important items with you at all times is best, you may not want to lug everything around every time you go get a cup of coffee or go to the bathroom If you are leaving items unattended, try keeping them out of plain sight, or secure. True, someone could open your drawer and take your wallet, but that is less likely to occur than if you just leave it on your desk, or sitting on your car seat. If you can lock your door or have secured storage, like a lockable filing cabinet, at your disposal, take advantage of it. Laptops can be secured by a cable, and you phone fits neatly in your pocket.

Use Password protection or Data Protection

Locks are great devices to keep people out of your house, and they also work well to protect your mobile devices. It is not unusually to have to type in a password, or draw a pattern when you want to unlock your mobile computing device or computer. Setting them up are simple and can save you so much. Don’t make them to obvious and there are certain guidelines on setting up good one and how often to change them. Have you password protected everything that can be? Many people forget to password protect their smartphones. Make sure your passwords are not easy to guess and change them periodically. There are also software programs and apps like Lookout that not only protects your mobile device but also allows you to track them if they are stolen, and even to remotely to wipe out the data on them.

Protect your Data

Many people run their business or manage aspects of their lives from their computers. There are few things you can do to protect the data on your lap top. First use a a privacy filter to keep prying eyes from reading over your shoulder. Secondly, consider getting an encryption programs to secure your data. Windows 7 Business and Ultimate edition already have one installed. These programs translate regular text, photos or files into gibberish to someone who does not have access. Encrypting all your data may not be necessary, just files containing sensitive information like tax records or bank files, etc.. While encryption programs can sometimes be bypassed by technologically-savvy thieves, many thieves do not possess this knowledge or desire to do so.

Shred ALL Documents

If you don’t have one. Please purchase a diamond cut shredder, and shred all documents what contain any account numbers of personal information. Some cities have shredding centers. Just don’t put these items in the trash.

Monitor Your Accounts

There is nothing like finding out all of sudden that your credit cards have been maxed out, or that your bank account has been emptied. Many banks allow you to set up mobile events when your account reaches a certain level, or if transactions of certain amounts take place. Consider doing this.

Leave unnecessary items out of your wallet

The Capital One commercial asks “What’s in your wallet?” In today’s plastic driven society, many people don’t carry wads of cash. But would be thieves and pick-pockets Today, thieves who steal wallets often do not find much cash in them. However, they can still find some items of value, like credit cards, debit cards, library cards, and most valuable of all your Social Security cards. You can minimize your risk by only carrying the cards you really need. Do you really need to carry 5 credit cards? If live on a budget why not carry the cash you need. How often to you really need more that $20? Some of my friends carry special debit card that they only transfer funds to from other accounts. (which you can also do from your smart phones with most banks). Experts will tell you to NEVER, EVER carry your social security card unless you are going to some place you need to like to a bank to open an account of starting a new job. Inspect your wallet for anything else that may have your Social Security number on it, and leave it out if you can.

Keep a List

As mentioned before you cannot prevent being an identity theft victim, you can only reduce your risk. Something’s like state or corporate computers systems are not in your control. Despite your best efforts to put in all security measure, there is no guarantee that your belongings will never be lost or stolen. PLEASE Keep a detail a list of your credit card, checking, and savings account numbers, along with the phone numbers of the financial institutions, allows you to contact them quickly if something happens. You can keep these in a special hidden notebook or on a file on a cloud drive that you can access from any computer. Remember to keep the list in a safe place, to prevent it from being stolen. We often do not think about theft until we are victims. However, by then, the damage has been done. Taking the time to protect your belongings before anything happens is well worth the effort.

PepperEyes.com is dedicated to providing you with the best and most affordable personal protection products on the market to meet the security needs of you, your family members or your business, by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime. If you want to take personal responsibility for yourself, your home or your business, purchase our high quality discount personal protection products and arm yourself with the knowledge of the best way to stay secure in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option. PepperEyes.com is a division of Onyx Knight Enterprises

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