If you fall victim to a successful identity theft attack, would you survive it?
The answer to that question typically resonates around whether you own a business, along with whether or not the attack decimated your financial well-being.
That said it is important whether a business owner or not to always be on guard against I.D. theft.
For starters, it can put you in a precarious position as a business owner if customers suddenly come to the conclusion that you can’t be trusted with their sensitive data.
If you are simply a consumer yourself, falling victim to identity theft can leave you with a sizable financial problem on your hands.
Remember, even if you are able to prove that you did not run up a big tab on your credit card or that someone snatched your identity and used it in another kind of financial scheme, the fallout can be quite damaging.
With that being the case, one of the areas where you can find yourself (and/or your business) is being too social with private financial data.
Are you being too social around your identity? If you are, the chances of becoming an I.D. theft victim increase rather quickly.
So, what are you doing to steer clear of identity theft criminals?
Taking the Fight to I.D. Theft Criminals
One of the first steps you should definitely undertake is making sure you have a protection provider in place, one to monitor your online and offline financial activities (specifically your accounts).
For example, would you automatically know on your own if someone got ahold of your credit card number and started using your card without your consent and knowledge? While some consumers and business owners monitor their accounts like a hawk, others are checking in here and there, leaving themselves open to possible trouble.
When you have a financial monitoring service provider overseeing your account/s, you can feel better about knowing whether or not someone has breached your line of security.
If you are unsure of which financial monitoring provider (i.e. identity theft protection) would be best for your life, there are services out there tasked with rating all the different companies in the financial monitoring business.
Loose Lips Sink Ships
Another important step in the process is being sure you are not too social when it comes to your financial and other personal activities.
For example, do you spend a fair amount of time on social media? If so, it is imperative that you do not give out any personal information especially involving financial activities.
Now, you might think that doing so would be a no-brainer, so why would anyone put themselves in such a precarious spot in the first place?
Truth is, some folks do it unwittingly, leaving themselves open to an identity theft attack.
Just as a business owner has to guard against identity theft, consumers must be pro-active too.
If you are a social networking regular, be sure to avoid spilling the beans on specific personal details (especially those involving finances).
The only way you should do something such as this if you are 100 percent trusting of your network server, along with partaking in a direct/instant message conversation with someone you trust. Even then, you’re probably better off just saving those discussions for in-person encounters, not on a computer.
Finally, always be cognizant of those you talk to online, especially on social sites, open forums etc.
Even though many people are online for all legitimate reasons, some are specifically using it to scam others, especially in the way of identity theft.
Whether you get a strange request via social media or on your regular email to download an attachment or log onto a questionable website, don’t fall for the trick. Once an identity theft thief has access to your computer, he or she can do a world of damage.
Navigating today’s identity theft landmines can seem quite daunting at times, but using a protection plan, being alert of your surroundings, and simply using some good old-fashion commonsense will do wonders for you.
If you have avoided identity theft up to this point, consider yourself fortunate.
Moving forward, keep those thieves at an arm’s length from you and your financial well-being.