Identity Theft

Written by Charles Peacock
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Identity theft is a frighteningly adverse side effect of our movement into the Information Age. All it takes these days is a few words and numbers to access an incredibly huge amount of sensitive data, from medical records to credit histories to personal habits. Protecting yourself against identity theft is not impossible, however, so let's take a look at some of the best and easiest steps you can take.

Preventing Identity Theft

I'm not a real believer in constantly living in fear, so I think it's a bit silly and drastic to take measures like shredding all of your mail before you put it in the trash. That said, there are certain unnecessary risks a lot of people take, and there are simple things you can do to keep yourself protected. Remaining vigilant with the security of your computer is one of them.

Since anyone who uses a computer occasionally transmits sensitive personal information over the Internet (like your name, address and social security number), it's important to only trust this information to companies with an established reputation. Never respond to an email asking you for your sensitive personal information, even if it looks like it's from a trusted company or website. This will keep your information out of the hands of a great many identity theft hackers and thieves.

Another good idea is to implement security measures on your home computer network. If you're using a broadband connection, you should always have a firewall installed that protects the information going in and out of your computer. You should also be careful to avoid inadvertently sharing files over the network that might contain personal information.

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