Here in the United States, there is no denying the fact that identity theft has become a hugely prominent issue. As a matter of fact, the number of cases of this type of crime exceeded 16.5 million in the year of 2017 alone, let alone in any of the years that have followed since. And in addition to this grave number, it has been found that security of company records has even become a top issue and concern of top executives found at the top 300 companies here in the United States. Therefore, it is clear to see just how much of a threat identity theft and other forms of this crime can cause. After all, the impact of identity theft can be devastating and long lasting, taking years to fully recover from in the case of many people who have become a victim of such a crime.
Fortunately, however, there are a number of steps that just about anyone can take to fight back against identity theft. For one thing, simply monitoring your bank account activity can go a long way – it can do more than many might realize. After all, you are more likely to miss criminal activity if you are not keeping track of your bank account and transactions, be they on a credit card or a debit card. Unfortunately, this is the case for far too many people, with very nearly one full quarter of all identity theft victims having actually only found out about the crime committed against them by total accident. Therefore, the crime had time to progress quite dramatically by the time that some of these victims ever even realized that it was happening in the first place. But if you check into your account activity regularly, you can be assured that you will notice any changes – and will be able to put a stop to any suspicious activity before it can become a real issue.
Of course, there are other steps that can be taken, steps that can prevent identity theft from ever even happening in the first place. The utilization of a secure paper shredder, be it a commercial paper shredder, an industrial shredder machine, or one of the secure paper shredders designed for home use, can very much prevent your identity from being stolen. After all, secure paper shredders will destroy any information that might end up in nefarious hands. But far too few people utilize secure paper shredders to conduct the secure paper shredding that is, in many cases, necessary to keep them and their information safe. Sadly, the data that has been gathered on the subject is more than in support of this claim, as it shows that very nearly one third of all consumers here in the United States (around 30% of them, to be just a bit more exact) actually take steps to use secure paper shredders as needed. And there is no denying that this can be hugely detrimental indeed. Fortunately, however, secure paper shredders are less expensive than one might think, making them easy to get and actually use.
And in addition to secure paper shredders, other habits and activities can continue to decrease the overall risk of identity theft. For instance, simply practicing safe behavior on any given internet platform is likely to go a long way towards keeping your identity safe. After all, more than three and a half billion people now utilize the internet in some way or another, making it a perfect target for those who are looking to commit the types of crimes discussed in this article. But, fortunately, more and more people are practicing good online safety, with up to half of all people saying that they would not give personal information to any kind of site that looked at all suspicious. Hopefully, in the years that are ahead of us, this type of behavior will only continue to grow and grow, making cases of online identity theft dwindle.
At the end of the day, there are many steps to take.