Six ways to protect yourself from identity theft

Identity theft is a serious concern for UK citizens, with figures suggesting that almost a quarter of us have fallen victim to this crime. Happily, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk.

1- Watch your accounts

Even simple everyday activities such as shopping online can expose you to identity theft, as highlighted here. This means that it’s vital to check bank accounts regularly and report any transactions that you don’t recognise.

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2- Destroy financial documents

We all want to do our bit and help protect the environment but think twice before putting bank or credit card statements out with the recycling. Instead, opt for confidential shredding Birmingham to avoid your details potentially falling into criminal hands.

3- Keep your details to yourself

If anyone asks you (via email or telephone) for sensitive personal information such as your bank details, address or date of birth, act with caution, even if the request appears to come from a trusted company or organisation. Call the company yourself to check if such requests are legitimate – after all, it may be a fraudster instead.

4- Know your credit history

Using a credit rating checker tool can be a great way to stay in control of your finances, and can also help to alert you to any suspicious activity that has been carried out in your name. Report any anomalies straight away.

5- Be mindful of your post

If you live in a shared house or anywhere where your post may be seen or accessed by others, then you need to make sure that you collect it regularly. Leaving it lying around can put you at risk of identity theft.

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6- Educate your employer

Everyone has a role to play in preventing identity theft, so check that your employer is also following guidelines to keep your personal data safe. For example, as well as storing online files securely, they should be using secure services such as confidential shredding in Birmingham to dispose of sensitive paper documents.

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