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  • Frank Houston

How to Prevent Identity Crimes?

You will be surprised to know that 1 in 4 citizens in Australia have suffered from identity crime at some point.


Identity theft is one of the growing and serious crimes. Anyone can steal and misuse your personal details like name, birthdate, account number, phone number, etc. for financial gain.

It can tarnish your reputation and you may have to pay hefty penalties.

No worries!


Herein, we are sharing a few tips to minimise the risk of identity crimes.


1. Secure your personal information

Private records such as bank statements, tax records and credit card details are at a high risk of identity theft.


Some of the ways to safeguard your confidential records are:

  • Shred all the outdated documents that you no longer need

  • Keep all the necessary paperwork in pallet storage

  • Collect new checks from the bank rather than having them mailed

  • Never throw your card receipts in the public dustbin

  • Don’t provide personal or financial information to an unauthorised website

2. Secure your password

Many people use the same password for different accounts. But this is a big mistake.


Some of the tips to follow are:


  • Set different passwords for different accounts like credit cards, banks, etc.

  • Avoid writing passwords on notebook

  • Never disclose it to anyone

  • Never rely on security questions to keep your accounts safe

  • Avoid keeping passwords related to your private data like birthdate, phone number, etc.

Above all, set a long and unique password that is hard for a hacker to crack.


3. Freeze your credit file


Freezing credit files restricts any fraudster to view or request your credit report, making you less vulnerable to identity crimes.


Some other benefits are:

  • No one can apply for a loan or request for another credit card on your behalf

  • Cost-effective

  • Prevents you from applying for a new credit card

  • Limits credit bureaus from selling your data

4. Keep note of phishing mails

The easiest path to access any sensitive information is through mails.


For instance, anyone can send you an official-looking email asking for credit card numbers, banking details, etc.


This can result in huge financial losses.


Never provide private details in response to an unauthorised email or call.


5. Practice paper shredding


The best way to avoid identity crime and data breach is by shredding records that have completed their retention period or you no longer need.


Shred everything from medicine receipts to utility bills, credit card statements and personal or financial documents.


Some other benefits of paper shredding are:

  • Lowers legal penalties

  • Improves productivity

  • Safeguards your reputation

  • Reduces liability

  • Promotes greener environment

6. Protect your computer

Malware and ransomware are malicious softwares that can wreak havoc.

Warning signs that your device has a virus:

  • Slow speed and crashes

  • Showing error messages

  • Displaying unwanted ads

  • Showing the results for the web pages you didn't even search for

  • Fast battery drainage

Some of the ways to safeguard your system are:

  • Install antivirus

  • Never respond to unofficial mails

  • Use a secure browser

  • Don't download random files

  • Set unique password

  • Store information on cloud

Additional tips

  • Review your records frequently

  • Use a digital wallet

  • Avoid providing personal information over the call

  • Be extra vigilant while travelling

  • Secure data in locked containers

Conclusion

Identity crime can take a big toll on your personal and professional life. So be extra cautious and alert.


Follow the above tips to avoid becoming the victim and suffering huge losses.


Does your company deal with a ton of paper that needs shredding from time to time? If yes, we can help. We are a certified paper shredding company providing secure document destruction services in Perth. Get in touch with us at 0458 088 000.

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