For far too many people living all throughout the United States, identity theft has become a reality in their life. Unfortunately, the year of 2017 alone saw more than 16 million people fall victim to identity theft on a national scale. In the time that has passed since, identity theft has remained a prominent issue for many people of all ages and all backgrounds. Sadly, many cases of identity theft are not discovered until late in the game, as very nearly one quarter (around 24%, to be just a bit more exact) of all people don’t even know they have become the victim of such a crime until they discover it by accident.
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to prevent yourself from ending up in this situation. For one thing, remaining vigilant about your back accounts and credit cards is one way to catch identity theft early on – stopping it in its tracks before matters can escalate even further. If you are reviewing your purchase history and bank statements with regularity, you are much more likely to pick up on something that is outside of the norm. And if you are able to do this, you will be able to take action far more quickly than someone who is not giving their accounts such attention on such a regular basis. And in many cases of identity theft, early action will be quite critical when it comes to mitigating damage.
Taking steps to actually prevent identity theft before it ever even happens is also a good idea – and there are a number of ways in which such a thing can be accomplished. For one thing, secure paper shredders should be utilized by just about everyone for their secure paper shredding needs. Secure paper shredders can provide a safe way for you to dispose of documents that you no longer need or want, but that contain critical information as well. These documents are not safe just to simply throw away or recycle, and should be dispatched with through the use of secure paper shredders, as secure paper shredders can eliminate the chance that your identity will be identifiable through them. However, far too few people use secure paper shredders as much as they should be – if at all. In fact, up to nearly one third of all people don’t use any secure paper shredders, from the high capacity paper shredder to the industrial office shredder or even to a much smaller scale home paper shredder. Therefore, these people are setting themselves up to risk identity theft every time that they dispose of an important piece of information.
Of course, using secure paper shredders is not the only thing you can – and should – do to protect your identity. For another thing, you should also be aware of using the internet safely. Now that more people than ever before – more than three and a half billion, as a matter of fact – have internet access on a global scale, it is truly more important than ever before to be safe online as well. This means that you should avoid sites that seem sketchy, and avoid giving out your information too freely as well. Fortunately, more and more people are becoming aware of this and up to half of all adults found all throughout the United States take such measures whenever they go online. Hopefully, this is a trend that will only continue to grow in the years that are ahead of us as well, as it is something that is likely to cut down a great deal on the overall number of identity fraud cases that we see on a year to year basis.
At the end of the day, it is always better to be safe than to be sorry when it comes to matters of identity theft. For most people, avoiding identity theft is even relatively simple and only really requires using good judgment on online platforms and utilizing a secure paper shredders when disposing of sensitive documents. In doing these things, many of your risk factors for identity theft will drop quite dramatically indeed, to say the very least.