How you can avoid becoming a victim of Identity Theft

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How you can avoid becoming a victim of Identity Theft
2 years ago
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There is no doubt that the internet has transformed our lives in many ways, some of them positive and others negative. It is important for all internet users to take the steps needed to protect themselves from the threats of the internet, while still taking advantage of all the great things the internet has to offer.

Ever since the earliest days of the internet, there have been those who have used the power of technology to commit crimes and steal the money of hard working people. From the earliest hackers and viruses to the sophisticated schemes seen by internet users today, it is important to protect yourself online, and to always be on the lookout for the latest scams, schemes and traps.

Unfortunately, there will always be those who are up to no good on the internet, and it is important for every internet user to take some basic steps to protect themselves. While each type of scheme is different, some of the protective measures can be quite similar.

One of the most important steps computer users can take is simply to install a quality virus scanning program, and to keep it up to date. This simple step can help keep many of those dangerous viruses, Trojan horses, spyware and other malicious programs out of your computer.

Another good step internet users can take is to install a software based firewall. The purpose of this firewall program is not only to keep malicious programs from coming on to your computer but to keep sensitive information contained on your computer from leaking out as well. This firewall protection is important for all internet users, but it is even more important for those with high speed internet connections. Since those computers are continually connected to the internet, they can be more at risk from hackers, viruses and malicious programs, so some sort of firewall protection is all but a necessity.

Fortunately many internet service providers, especially those who provide high speed internet access, are helping their customers protect themselves by bundling virus protection, firewall and other protective programs into their service. If you are in the market for a high speed internet solution, you may want to look into these bundled services.

In addition to these technological protections from identity theft, there are a number of common sense solutions as well. One of the most important, of course, is to never give your personal information to anyone whose identity you cannot verify. A good rule of thumb is to only provide sensitive information such as Social Security numbers to others when you initiate the contact, and to never provide such information through email. Email is not a secure communication medium, and such personal information should never be sent in this manner.

If you do receive a phone call or an email which asks for such personal information, it is important to verify the identity of the contactor before divulging any such information. Many identity thieves pose as banks, brokers or other legitimate businesses in order to fool their victims, and it is important to verify the source of any communication before taking any action. These steps can do a great deal to protect yourself from the problem of identity theft.
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