According to a certain statistics, more than 10 million people had their identities stolen last year. While anyone can be a victim of identity theft, this crime affects the senior citizens who often have more wealth and have spent their entire life developing good credit.
Identity theft is common especially among the elderly for various reasons. They are generally more trusting than younger adults, a higher percentage of the elderly have no clue about the risks and scams that take place every day. Unlike the younger generation, the elderly are now the prime identity theft targets online, at homes and even over the phones.
Whether you are a teenager or a senior citizen, there are several things you can do to prevent identity theft. The following tips can help safeguard your identity.
1. Be Safe Online
People who are less familiar with the internet security, especially the elderly, should avoid risky behaviors online. This includes online banking and providing personal information in response to email spam. It’s prudent to conduct all banking processes in person, and one should also ignore any emails from strangers. Today, there are security software’s that might help in securing your data and prevent hackers from viewing your private information. Getting acquainted and trying to understand why your private information should remain private is crucial.
2. Freeze Credit
One of the latest effective ways of preventing identity theft is the use of credit freeze. It’s an easy process and can help both young and the elderly. To freeze your loved one’s credit, one needs to contact three credit agencies. No transaction will take place when the credit is frozen unless you give the credit bureau the permission to do so. This technique can also be helpful in case you realize that someone has hacked into your accounts.
3. Stop Junk Mail
Junk emails often contain too much information, and some of this information can be our private information. If this important information lands into the wrong hands, then you might be hacked, and your identity will be stolen with ease. Reducing junk mails eliminate or reduces the chances of identity thieves getting your information. It’s also important to shred any information that relates to your identity. Remember that if you just dump your papers and mails in the trash, you make it easy for dumpster drivers to steal your loved one’s identity.
4. Ensure that Private Information Remains Private
Medical cards, credit cards, social security numbers, driving license among other relevant documents should always remain confidential and safely guarded. These are some of the information that identity thieves use to commit theft. It’s wise to keep information safe and shred them after confirmed treatments.
Most identity thieves take advantage of the fear that most citizens have especially the elderly about their Medicare coverage and Social Security benefits. Most people think that the person at the end of the line or in an email is simply doing his or her job by asking for personal information. No. Some are thieves, and if you are not careful, you will lose your money. Spend some time and learn more about identity theft because it’s important and can save you from a lot of trouble apart from losing all you have worked for. Be alert be aware!