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Why do I need to protect my identity?

17 October 2012

Did you know that Identity Fraud is the world’s fastest growing crime?  Once fraudsters have enough of your personal information they can use this to conduct a number of fraudulent activities such as using your details to open bank accounts and accumulate huge debts in your name. 

The impacts of identity fraud are both financial and emotional and can involve having to regain your credit rating and identity.  Your personal and financial information equates to money for the fraudsters.  So it is important to protect information that identifies you and your financial details.

Here are some easy steps to help you get started: 

•Ensure all proof of identity documents such as birth certificates, drivers licence and passports are stored in a secure place.

•Keep copies all proof of identity documents in another secure location in case the originals go missing; you will then have the copies to assist with verifying who you are.

•Don’t provide strangers with personal information about your birth date, accounts or cards (especially over the telephone)

•Protect your PIN, passwords and access codes, change these regularly and keep them confidential and secure

•Keep mail safe and secure – lock your mail box to prevent theft

•Use a shredder to destroy personal and financial information

In next month’s article I will share with you how identity takeover can happen and give you some more tips on how to lessen your risks.