Identity theft is generally defined as the misappropriation of the identity (such as the name, date of birth, current address or previous addresses) of another person, without their knowledge or consent.
Identity theft occurs when someone acquires, transfers, possesses, or appears to be the right holder of personal data belonging to a private person or company in an unauthorized manner, with the intent to commit fraud or other crimes. It’s a serious crime that can wreak havoc with your finances, credit history, and reputation – and can take time, money, and patience to resolve.
You can prevent identity theft by protecting the sources that the criminals use for ID theft
- Do not give out personal information to strangers on the phone, through e-mail, or over the Internet unless you yourself have initiated traffic.
- Never leave personal information with companies you do not trust.
- Remember that passwords and PINs are personal and should not be given to others.
- If your mailbox is lockable, consider putting locks on. Consider how much information flows through this box. As you will quickly see that it could be a first choice for criminals who want information about you.
- Tear or shred documents containing personal information before they are thrown in the trash. Documents that have special protection value, such as PIN numbers etc., should preferably be incinerated or disposed of in other ways.
- Avoid information that can provide access to the safeguarded information in wallets or purses.
- Use firewalls, virus scanners, anti-spyware to protect your personal computer.
- Check whether the connection is protected (encrypted) by the exchange of personal data.
- Do not use simple passwords on your customer sites, your online e-mail or other aspects of protection needs. Please note that some businesses protect your password poorly – so you may want to avoid using the same password several places.
- Note that it is possible to opt-out of any changes to your mail via the Internet. Contact any company on this.
- Have your personal data – your data – in a safe place.
To learn more, visit EU Fraud Prevention Expert Group