How to Avoid Identity Theft

Identity theft is when you have your private details stolen for financial gains. An identity thief will steal your social security number, date of birth and your official name and use that information to profit financially. They can take a loan under your name, make a purchase or file tax using a stolen identity. With time, you will notice your credit score has dropped, you have outstanding loans, and purchases history you are not familiar with. The identity thief will use a different address to open a credit card account under your name. Choose credit card providers who validate an address in real time before giving a go-ahead for one to open an account. Some of the tips you can use to avoid identity theft include:

Store your private information in a secure place

Your private information will include your email addresses, social security number, date of birth and your name among others. In most cases, such details can be stolen when you make a payment at a store or in the case of a data breach. You have to be careful when shopping: secure your devices, PINs, and password details. Avoid using your social security number when you want to access your bank account online by asking for an alternative.

Shop on trusted and secure online stores

Not all e-commerce stores will offer you with the security you need. Investigate a store before you allow yourself to share your credit card details with it. Ensure that you are shopping in a secure site for the safety of your private information. At, online stores can validate, confirm, and verify phone numbers in real time based on the status, location, and type for security purposes.

Pay in cash or use a credit card

Paying in cash means that you do not have to exchange any details during the process. However, in the modern age of the Internet, online shopping has become popular, which eliminates the use of cash. In such a case, you can use your credit card where you will be expected to provide a 3-digit security code. This code is almost impossible to know by an identity thief and thus secure.

Register for email and text alerts with your bank

You can register for email and text alerts with your bank or credit card provider. This way, you will get alerts whenever you make a purchase using your credit card or when your bank account is used in any kind of way. As such, you will be able to detect when a transaction is made without your authorization.

Always shred your paper waste

Your bank account statements, copies of your social security number certificate and driver’s license can be among your paper waste. Use a shredder to get rid of all the office paper waste which can help you avoid identity theft.

There may not be a foolproof way through which you can completely avoid identity theft. However, you can take precautions to minimize it. Always check your credit report and when you suspect any discrepancies, you can immediately report to the necessary authority and your credit card provider.