Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How Protected Are You From ID-Theft?

I've mentioned before that being safe on the Internet requires proper caution. However, ID-Theft, which is a growing industry* takes place both on and off the web.

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:
  1. Contact the card companies when your credit cards are stolen.
  2. Make sure your mail and e-mail are secure.
  3. Shred documents rather than throwing them away.
  4. Keep important documents locked away.
  5. Update security software on your PC.
  6. Only download legitimate software.
  7. Keep your computer physically secure.
  8. Be aware of who you give your details to online, especially credit card details.
  9. Have a PIN for your mobile phone.
  10. Monitor your mobile phone bill.
  11. Keep passwords secret, hard to guess and secure.
  12. Only give your driver license details if absolutely necessary.
  13. Check credit card bills regularly.
It all comes down to limiting unauthorised access to your personal details.

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.


  1. I don't know about in the land of Oz, but in the US, you can ask the credit bureaus to put a password on your account. This way, anytime you open an account on anything (like an in-store credit) they have to ask you for that password.

  2. I'll have to double check, but I'm not aware of any such service existing in Australia.