If there’s one piece of information you need to keep secure, it’s your credit report. All the information someone needs to steal your identity is laid out in a credit report along with all of your financial information. One of the top ways that financial institutions and other businesses work to protect your privacy is by verifying information like account numbers and credit cards. You can get all of this from a credit reference, as well as other identifying information that could be used to steal your identity.
That’s why so many hackers are eager to get their hands on your credit reference. This is a lesson I learnt the hard way and it’s difficult not to feel powerless in these situations. What can you do to protect yourself? Unfortunately, it’s impossible to protect yourself 100 % of the time, but with some key tips, you can greatly reduce the chances of real identity theft. I’ve laid out some key steps to protecting your information from identity thieves.
One of the biggest problems with trying to combat identity theft is that sometimes, by the time you realise your identity has been stolen, it’s too late to reverse all of the damage. In order to avoid this, I recommending that you look at your credit report as often as possible, to make sure that everything seems correct. However, sometimes even this isn’t fast enough. That’s why many companies are offering Identity Protection, which will help secure your credit reference with real-time data.
Most Identity Protection programmes charge a monthly fee in order to watch your credit for you. This can seem expensive, but trust me, compared to the risk of identity theft, it’s a small price to pay. These companies will also work to remove fraudulent charges and accounts from your credit report, something that’s difficult for individuals to do.
Keep Your Information Safe
Any credit agency will tell you that the most important way to battle identity theft is to keep your information as private as possible. I often find this difficult, though, with the amount of information I share on the internet, such as banking. In fact, many people request their free annual credit report online!
Phishing is one of the most common ways that people accidentally give out this information, leaving them vulnerable to identity theft. I personally find it very difficult to keep on top of the scams, considering new ones are being invented every day, but there are some ways to identify them. One of the easiest ways to gain a measure of security is simply to have a company like www.creditexpert.co.uk/credit-score.aspx to help monitor what is being spent on your accounts and to help protect against online scams.
Have Existing Relationships
It’s easy to take the idea of keeping your information private to the extreme, but that’s simply not possible in the online era. Mobile and online banking makes it easy to manage your money. We even apply for credit cards online! The biggest thing to remember is to only give your information to companies that you trust (such as companies with major brand awareness) and companies you have an existing relationship with.
Your bank probably already has your credit reference, which means that sharing such information with them is simply a way for them to verify your identity. However, whenever I receive an email, even if it seems to be from a company I know, I make sure to verify the information before responding. It could easily be a hacker pretending to be my bank.
Battling identity theft is very difficult these days, but identity protection and keeping a handle on your information is the most important step towards protecting your credit. Find out more information on stolen credit reports online.
Scott Bryan is a financial blogger who enjoys explaining the world of finance in everyday terms. A high street bank manager for over thirty years, he knows that everyone has unique requirements and so is dedicated to helping you find the right solution for you. He now works as a freelance financial writer when not consulting.