So, you’ve updated your password, you’ve looked into the myths surrounding identity theft, and you even understand the importance of protecting your child’s identity. The trouble is, getting a hold of your personal information doesn’t have to be a complex, technologically advanced process.
Here are 4 surprising ways that your personal information is getting into the wrong hands.
- You make it easy for someone to see your information
Everyone knows sending paper mail through the shredder before dumping it in the trash is a good idea, but there are many other easy ways for someone to take a quick glance at your information.
It could be that you’re in line at an ATM and someone standing behind you snapped a cell phone picture of your card and pin number. Restaurants can be especially troublesome because the waiter or waitress must walk away from your table with your credit card. On busy shopping days, a cashier may have their attention diverted from your transaction, leaving your personal information on the screen for a thief to see.
- You took your eyes off of your purse
This one sounds so obvious, and yet we do it all the time. Women often place their handbags in shopping carts, then leave the cart for a few moments to reach for an item on the shelf. A few minutes is all it takes for someone to snatch your wallet.
Where do you put your purse when you’re at the bar or at a restaurant? If you hang it on the back of the chair, you’re making it easy for someone to slide by and grab your credit cards and cash.
Men aren’t immune to this problem either. If you’re walking through a crowded amusement park or picking up that unbelievable Black Friday deal, you aren’t likely to notice someone slipping their hand into your back pocket to snatch your wallet.
- You take the people around you for granted
This is perhaps the saddest item on our list because you want to believe that the people you live and work with aren’t capable of such a crime. The truth is, your troubles could be caused by someone you know, which means you need to keep a closer eye on your personal information when you’re at home and when you’re at work. In 2014, 550,000 people reported their identity theft woes were caused by someone they knew.
- You click links in emails
Thieves are getting tricky, which means the emails they send regarding the status of your personal accounts are getting more convincing. If you receive an email that asks you to update your account information, donate to a notable cause, or even if you receive an email from a friend with a link, it’s in your best interest to visit the website in your browser without the help of your email.
Don’t let identity thieves get the best of you! Keep your information close and you can greatly reduce your risk of becoming an identity theft victim.