Whether they steal your wallet and get your credit cards, phish for your details online, sort through your mail or paper bin, there are a number of ways they can get enough details to steal your identity and possibly steal your money. That being said, there are a number of ways you can protect yourself from identity theft.
A good resource I've found, through Penny Sharpe (The Hon Penny Sharpe MLC) in the Labour Party is the Privacy Awareness Week site. Particularly, the self assessment ID-theft tool.
I scored 84% and learnt a few new things I could be doing to help protect my details. Though I was performing some of the following, a more complete list of tips is:
- Contact the card companies when your credit cards are stolen.
- Make sure your mail and e-mail are secure.
- Shred documents rather than throwing them away.
- Keep important documents locked away.
- Update security software on your PC.
- Only download legitimate software.
- Keep your computer physically secure.
- Be aware of who you give your details to online, especially credit card details.
- Have a PIN for your mobile phone.
- Monitor your mobile phone bill.
- Keep passwords secret, hard to guess and secure.
- Only give your driver license details if absolutely necessary.
- Check credit card bills regularly.
Hopefully you'll all benefit from this site as well.
Tip of the hat to Penny Sharpe.
* As much as crime can be considered to be an industry.