The number of identity theft reports increased in 2011. However, the amount stolen lessened, meaning people are getting better at spotting early signs. Here are some tips to better deter identity thieves.
Last year the number of people reporting identity theft increased by 13%, and expects that the number of victims will only increase thanks to things like digital banking. But as of right now, social networks are hotspots for identity thieves.
The only good news, according to banking-security analyst firm Javelin Strategy, is that the amount stolen isn’t increasing along with the number of thefts. Javelin found that it costs people have to recover has dropped since 2004.
But banks aren’t the only thing to worry about. Your social networking is just as much of a danger. After all, people are constantly posting a wealth of personal information. After all, isn’t that the point?
According to Javelin, 68% of people post their birthdays and 12% share their pets’ names. These may seem like innocent pieces of information to impart, but thieves know better. That sort of information is used in passwords and as answers to security questions.
And while people have become more wary about Facebook, they haven’t realized that LinkedIn is just as, if not more risky. According to ITWorld, LinkedIn is a treasure trove in that thieves can actually search out the wealth users. The very nature of the site encourages people to share professional data that they might not include on Facebook and to brag about their careers.
In addition to watching your social networking sites, listed a few other things to watch out for. For instance, it should be second nature to shred any documents with personal information before throwing them out; but just in case you aren’t, start doing so. Thieves will go through your trash and sign up under your name.
And offered some advice of its own on being proactive in catching or deterring any identity theft. They suggest that you change your security codes and passwords at least once a year and make sure you constantly check your bank statements and credit card bills. If you can’t account for even a $20 purchase, it might be a thief slowly siphoning money away from you.
Know someone looking for a job? The market is still tough right now, and thieves have no qualms about using that to their advantage. They get those who are desperate for employment by offering a job with the caveat that they need to send some money first.