Identity theft is, unfortunately, growing more and more prominent with each passing year. Here in the United States, identity theft has become particularly prominent. Over the course of the year of 2017 alone, well over 16 billion people became victims of such fraud (among a number of other kinds of identity fraud as well, for that matter). Sadly, many of these people will need to deal with the repercussions of this crime for many years to come.
But how do such crimes occur in the first place? There are actually a number of ways in which crimes like identity theft and other types of identity fraud can happen, and many of them can be prevented by actions taken by the individual person. As a matter of fact, very nearly half of all American consumers currently feel that their own security habits are leaving them at risk for becoming victims of identity theft and the like. But even though more and more people are becoming victims of identity fraud, the good news is that there are clear steps that can be taken to reduce identity theft risk by a great deal.
For one thing, practicing discretion while using various internet platforms is a hugely important thing. Nowadays, there are more internet users than ever, with more than three and a half billion people logging on all throughout the world. As a result of this, identity theft via online platforms has become more prevalent than ever before. Fortunately, even simple steps can reduce the likelihood that you too will fall victim to such times. For instance, up to half of all internet users now practice discretion when it comes to giving out their personal information. By avoiding sites that do not seem secure, it is certainly likely that many cases of identity theft will be avoided. Fortunately, more and more people are utilizing caution on more and more online platforms.
But guarding your information on various online platforms is far from the only thing that you need to do to prevent identity theft. In addition to being careful about the information that you give out online, you need to be shredding your personal paper documents as well, especially those that contain sensitive information. For instance, the secure paper shredding of any information related to your banking should be conducted as soon as said documents are no longer necessary. And while you might not need something like an industrial shredder or high capacity paper shredder, you can still conduct secure paper shredding with smaller scale secure paper shredders.
Unfortunately, secure paper shredding is conducted by far too few people on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, the data that has been gathered on the subject is more than in support of this claim, with only around 70% of all people saying that they shred their sensitive documents through secure paper shredding methods. This leaves nearly one third of all people susceptible to identity theft. Simply by practicing better secure paper shredding protocols, they could reduce the likelihood that they will become victims of identity theft by a considerable amount, of this there is just no doubt.
In addition to this, simply keeping a close eye on your bank account or accounts is something that can be hugely impactful as well. Unfortunately, far too few people do not actually do this and instead have very little idea as to what is going on in their own bank accounts. As a matter of fact, as many as 24% of all victims of identity theft actually only find out that they have become the victim of such a crime by complete accident. But if you take the time to monitor your bank account or accounts closely, you will be able to spot any suspicious or fraudulent activity really as soon as it is happening. Therefore, you will be able to put a stop to such activity much more quickly than someone who only discovers they have been victimized much later on in the game.