Keep Your Personal Data Personal

It is becoming increasingly more common to hear about home invasions and identity theft. With the increase in Internet usage, more personal information is being transmitted online. In some cases, this can lead to knowledge of when you aren't home, which can result in home invasion. However, one of the more common issues is intercepting this information to steal someone's identity and their money in the process. Therefore, it is up to you to keep your identity safe.

Don't Click on Suspicious Links

Many people who are looking to steal your identity attempt to do so through sneaky methods. For instance, they will send out emails that look like they are from a company with which you have an account, such as a bank or credit card. They will make outrageous claims about your account being compromised or similar. They ask you to click a link and provide them with information to secure your account. Instead of clicking on the link, visit the website directly through the browser. Report these emails to the company.

Use Secure Websites

If you will be entering your personal information online, make sure you do so on secure sites only. You can easily tell which sites are secure by looking at the address bar. Secure websites will begin with https instead of http. Some browsers also show a closed lock in the address bar to let you know the site encrypts your data to help keep it safe.

Create Strong Passwords and Keep Them Private

Strong passwords are the key to keeping your information safe and preventing identity theft. Try to avoid real words or names in your passwords and create something you will easily remember. For instance, think of a phrase you will remember and use an acronym that stands for that phrase. Using a mixture of capital and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters will help you create a secure password. Never give the password to anyone else for any reason.

Protect Your Social Security Number

There are actually few reasons why you should have to give out your social security number. Ask if you can use a different form of identification instead. However, keep in mind there are times when you will need to provide the number, including for credit checks. If you aren't comfortable entering your social security number online, call it in or go to a physical location if you can.

Lock Your Computer and Your Home

Whether you use a desktop in a public location or you use a laptop you take with you everywhere, it is important to lock your computer. Use a strong password and don't allow your computer to automatically log in when it is turned on. If other people will use your computer, set up a guest account for them to use to ensure your information will be safe. Even if the individual wouldn't steal your information, they could do something that will make it easy for someone else to.

Lastly lock up your home. This often sounds as a no brainer however many people don’t take the necessary steps to secure their home or apartment. Easy steps such as double checking windows and door locks take only minutes. If you leave the house even for only a quick trip to the store make sure you lock the doors. An average thief will only enter a home for a very limited amount of time and grab the most obvious and valuable items first. Most of the time a thief will look for a phone2, laptop, iPad, TV, or stereo. If you don’t have a home security system yet check out which has a ton of great info and plans to choose from.

If you are concerned about identity theft, it is time to take precautions to protect yourself. The more you learn about how identity theft happens, the more you can do to keep it from happening to you.