When it comes to crime here in the United States, there are certainly many different types. Still, far too few people give the crime of identity theft the attention that it deserves. Unfortunately, identity theft is far more common than a great many people realize, with more than 16 million people in this one country alone become victims of this crime over the course of just one single year (at least according to data that was gathered back in the year of 2017). And there is no doubting the fact that the impacts of identity theft can be long lived and long lasting. For some people, the consequences of identity theft might even persist for years.
But what can be done? Fortunately, there are a number of steps that just about every single person can take to prevent themselves from suffering these consequences – and from ever becoming the victim of such a crime in the first place. For one thing, simply remaining more vigilant over your accounts can have a tremendous impact – and a positive one, at that. Sadly, this is not the case for many people, with nearly one quarter (24%, to be just a bit more specific) of all identity fraud victims only finding out that they became the victim of a crime by accident. But when you are paying close attention to all transactions that come through your accounts, you’ll catch any suspicious activity early on in the game, therefore giving you greater agency in being able to stop it in its tracks.
Properly shredding your documents can also have a powerful impact on preventing identity theft and protecting your identity. After all, most cases of identity theft still occur due to the improper disposal of paper documents. And while you might not need an industrial shredder, even smaller scale secure paper shredders can provide for your secure paper shredding needs. Sadly, up to nearly one third of all people don’t use an industrial shredder or even any other kind of shredder to dispose of their paper documents. Simply by gaining access to high security shredders, they would be able to reduce their overall risk of identity theft by a considerable amount.
You should also seek to utilize companies that have strict identity protection measures as well. After all, it only benefits a company to utilize something like an industrial shredder on a regular basis. The data that has been gathered on the subject is more than in support of this claim, showing that up to 40% of all customers will take their business elsewhere if they find that the company in question has had a breach of security. And investing in something like an industrial shredder can help companies take a step towards providing better security protection than ever before.
But as important as the industrial shredder certainly is, the industrial shredder alone is most certainly not the only tool utilized when it comes to protecting one’s identity. Aside from shredding documents through the use of an industrial shredder or other such shredding machine, protecting your identity while you go online is also critical. After all, the internet has become more prevalent in our lives than ever before and we now use the internet for a whole plethora of different things. For instance, we use the internet for our leisure time, but we also use it for the purposes of our professional lives as well. At the end of the day, however, the internet can be a risky place.
But simply being cautious about where you share your personal information is something that can have a tremendous impact on your life. Already, up to half of all American internet users have said that they refrain from giving their information to sites that do not seem secure. Therefore, they are able to keep their information from falling into the wrong hands. As more and more people understand the risk that the internet presents to them (especially now that nearly four billion people use it on a worldwide basis), more and more people will be taking protective measures as well. Ultimately, even a low level of vigilance is likely to pay off.