Author: Mike White
I\'m sure you\'ll all be pleased to know that even during these times of the credit crunch there is still one industry enjoying a growth period, unfortunately, it\'s Identity Theft ... the easiest way for fraudsters to blight your life and stress you still further!
So how do you overcome the potential vagaries of Identity theft and what is it. Identity theft is not just somebody copying your dress sense or sense of style, identity theft is something far more sinister and involves the theft of your very existence right down to banking details, credit cards and even your medical history.
Many people are blissfully unaware of how simple it is to get somebody else\'s personal information without too much effort. It is probably far too easy for example do you shred you paperwork or destroy expired credit cards?
Well that\'s just common sense isn\'t it?, but do you also shred all the promotional bumf, special offer balance transfer rates, why not have one of our wonderful credit card pamphlets et al, all of which have your name and address printed on them?
You don\'t care about that, you bank online, BIG DEAL you\'re just as much at risk as someone who throws all the junk mail post in the bin if you are not protective of your online presence. For example do you use the same password for all your banking? Well yes, how many of us can remember all the passwords needed without breaking the terms and conditions of paragraph 8 subsection 5 which states \"do not write down your password\".
Is your antivirus updated regularly, do you always download the updates as they come in, will LATER be soon enough, or will it be too late? When you upgrade your computer systems, a new laptop for Xmas a bargain in the sales or maybe an online auction purchase, how do you dispose of your old system, in particular your hard drive?
You need to take sensible precaution when disposing of old or unused computers and laptops (or hard drives). Selling them on one of the many auction sites may earn yourself a little extra pocket money, but are you aware that even if you have formatted the drive you have just given away all your personal data. Hard drive recovery experts are only limited to professional companies, the criminal element have access to this capability as well.
If you are concerned with digital theft or the possibility of identity theft then you can arranged to have your drive shredded by a certified contractor or securely wiped which is much more environmentally friendly as it allows for the re-use of the none data holding components. Secure destruction or wiping ensures you get a certificate showing when, where and by whom the drive was rendered beyond recovery and have peace of mind.