Imagine one morning you wake up, head out to your local coffee house and use your debit or credit card. Only to find out that you are not yourself anymore. Doesn’t make sense, right? Not right now at least.
Maybe you’ve spent a little too much time on social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Digg, and all the others out there. Be careful with giving out your name and address to anyone, just because they require it for you to sign up doesn’t mean you should. Networking website such as the ones listed above are becoming the ultimate platform for creating brand awareness. It’s critical that you get some sort of identity theft protection, this day and age before anyone else claims it.
People work hard each day to try and making a living to support themselves and their families. It’s devastating when financial fraud has happened. It can happen by money laundering, an organized crime by stealing PIN numbers from ATM machines, or even while you use your debit card at a place such as McDonalds — hey don’t laugh, it’s happened to one of our clients here at the financial institution I work at. McDonalds people. These folks are getting bold with setting up whatever gadgets they may have, so they can rob people. It’s sick.
How can you protect yourself? I advise people to start using credit cards on a regular basis, that is — if you’re diligent with them and paying them off even before they’re due. Often if you pay with something with cash, debit or cheque it cannot be reimbursed to you if something doesn’t turn up that you ordered. Visa and MasterCard have a protection plan against that. Minimize the risk. You have to be careful about sharing your personal information online or letting it circulate freely about on the interwebs. If you’re asked to provide your information — don’t be afraid to ASK why it is needed and how it will be kept safe. Do not ever give out your SIN (Social Insurance Number) out to anyone but potential employers, and do not ever carry your SIN card (or Birth Certificate) in your wallet.
Pay attention to your billing cycle – say your credit card or other bills fail to arrive to your home. You need to contact the company to ensure that it hasn’t been illicitly related. Further more, choose difficult passwords, memorize them and chance them often. Do not write them down and to make them more difficult use a combination of letters and numbers.