Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft
In the course of a day, you do a number of things that may put your personal information at risk — from paying for goods at a shop to purchasing itmes online at retailers such as Takealot or Amazon. You may not think twice about the security of your information on these transactions, but others might.
Identity theft — “when a perpetrator assumes someone’s identity for personal or financial gain”, like stealing a credit card or someones identification to make financial transactions in the victim’s name — is the fastest-growing crime form in the world.
- Do not give out your personal information to anyone unless you are the one who makes contact first or if you know the person or company that you are doing business with.Never disclose personal information, such as a ID number or bank account number, in response to an email. Legitimate businesses will not ask you to do this.
- Do not disclose your credit card number to an online vendor unless it is encrypted and the site is secure. Look at the first part of the Web address on your browser. It should read “https://.”
- Do not write your Identity number or telephone number on credit card/debit card receipts.
- Remove all documents with your personal information from your hard drive before discarding your computer or sending it in for repair. This is probably the best piece of advice that you will receive.
- Shred discarded documents, including pre-approved credit card applications, bank statements, receipts of purchases you have made and utility bills. criminals can gain access to your personal information if such items are thrown in the dustbin and discarded.
If you are a victim of identity theft, contact your local police department to open a case as soon as possible.you will also probably need to report this to home affairs as soon as possible.