10 Ways To Protect Yourself From Online Identity Theft

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Identity theft is becoming a bigger problem as more and more people are making the internet a bigger part of their lives. People who are new to the online medium often fall prey to phishing or other internet identity theft schemes. In many cases the phishing party uses your credit card to order goods for them selves, in other cases they will apply for credit cards, set up bank accounts, and take advantage of your good credit rating. Correcting these issues involves a lot of time energy and stress, so here are ten tips to help you from becoming a victim of identity theft.

Use a disposable email account. Keep your business or personal email account just for business or personal communication. If you are going to be making purchases online, joining newsgroups, or subscribing to mailing lists and ezines use a disposable email account. There are many online free accounts such as yahoo, hotmail or grail, and most of them can interface with popular email clients like outlook or outlook express. Use one of them for all of your shopping transactions.

Disguise your online identity. If your real name in Joe Bloggs try to avoid using email accounts with name like jbloggs@example.com when dealing with people you dont know and trust. If you were born in 1970 dont chose jbloggs1970@example.com as your email account.

Use different level passwords. Use one password for your personal information, use another for your business accounts and a third for your disposable email accounts or mailing lists you sign up for. Dont use sequential passwords like password1 for personal use password2 for business, and password 3 for disposable accounts.

Use strong passwords. Dont use your birthdates, year you were married, or your childrens birthdates. Avoid choosing passwords that consist entirely of letters or numbers. Also try to avoid using passwords that are actual words. The best passwords are mnemonic phrases like my father ate three apples for breakfast. Take the first letter of each word and convert the number into numbers and you end up with mfa3a4b.

Rotate your passwords. You should change your passwords every 6 to 12 months. If you suspect your passwords have been compromised change them as a safety precaution.

Use only one credit card for all of your online purchases. If any of your other credit cards have online transactions you know they are fraudulent. If you see offline purchases for your online credit card you also know they are fraudulent.

Use credit cards instead of debit cards. While many debit cards now offer online purchase protection its easier to dispute fraudulent charges than to recover debit card funds that have already been spent.

When you make purchases online make sure your transactions are secure. In the address bar you should see https and not http. There should also be small lock icon in your browser. If this is your first purchase from the company make sure the issuing company is someone you have heard of like Verisign, or Thawte.

Check a companys privacy policy. When you make your first transaction make sure your check the privacy policy, look for logos from consumer groups like Trust-E and the better business bureau. Click the logos to make sure they are authentic.

Never open or fill out email requests for you to update you account or credit card settings via email. These are phishing scams people use to try and secure your personal information. Many of them are growing increasingly sophisticated and go to great lengths to look exactly like the companies website using their exact logo.

Child Identity Theft-Protect Your Childs Future

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Believe it or not child identity theft is a very real thing. You need to protect your child’s identity just like you would your own. If you do not protect your child’s identity then their social security number can be stolen and used for illegal purposes. Your child’s credit will be ruined before they are even old enough to use it themselves.

So instead of selling your soul to try to fix your child’s credit rating after the fact then protect it right along the way just like you do your own. You will be a lot happier and your child will have all the advantages in life that everyone else has.

It is so important to do everything you can to protect your child’s identity. If their information gets into the wrong person’s hands they could be dealing with a lifetime of credit and child identity theft issues.

As parents, we all want to protect our children. It wasn’t until fairly recently that we learned that that protection needed to extend to their personal information as well as their minds and bodies. It absolutely blows the mind that someoine could even come up with some of the transgressions against children that they do. I think people who prey on children, in any manner, have to be quite evil and should be put away for the rest of their lives.

There are several things you can do to actively protect your child’s identity and the first of thiose is be very careful who sees your child’s personal information. The less you give it out the less chance it will be stolen. There are relatively new laws out there that limit the people who get to see someone’s personal medical information and it has helped the whole situation quite a bit.

Another thing to do is to closely monitor what your child is doing on the internet. They msy be putting themselvele on the s in danger and not even know it. Do not let them order anything off of the internet, you do it for them. Use the parental controls that are available from your service provider to control where your children are allowed to go on the web.

Even the “social networks” can be dangerous places where the identity thieves try to trick your children into giving out their or your personal information. Caution your children to never give out anything that could let someone find your home. Put the fear of God into them. Tell them in no uncertain terms that if they let someone bad find their home then not only could they be hurt or worse but so could Mom and Dad. This may make them think twice before giving out their telephone number and address to a total stranger online.

Just remember to do all you can to eliminate the risk for child identity theft so your child has all the opportunities to mess their credit up all by themselves just like the majority of the rest of the population has.

Bad Credit Refinance – Heal Thyself

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Even if you have bad credit, refinance on your existing home is still possible. I know it may be hard to comprehend, you thought you were stuck right where you are; because no one wants to help any one who is down. Usually they do all they can to keep you down. Well, things have changed these days because interest rates are so low your lender may be willing to help without causing too much anguish on your part.

The only thing your lender is interested in is you making your monthly mortgage payment in full and on time. If they have to take a little off the interest to accomplish this fact then they will. They do not want your house. They probably have so many at this point they can’t even count them. The last thing they want is one more house.

Ask your lender to help you learn to rebuild your credit rating in order to refinance your house and help you get out from under some bills. If they start seeing you as a person instead of an account number you will benefit. You can save hundreds of dollars a year on your monthly mortgage payment, because the prime interest rate is still so low.

Remember, your lender is not just going to agree to do this right when you ask them to. They will need some information from you to help them make their determination. They will need your income and verification of that income, how much debt you have and all three credit scores before they will even think of saying yes.

As I said the prime rate of interest has fallen recently and this is a positive thing for you if you do need to refinance. You will still probably pay a higher interest rate when you do refinance but take solace in the fact that you will not pay nearly what you would if the interest rate had not gone down at all. If you do not already escrow property taxes or insurance you may be requird to do so with a refinance just like you would be if you were going for a modification of your loan.

If this happens your payment may not change very much at all but you will have the peace of mind in knowing that your property taxes and insurance is taken care of with every monthly payment.

So what happens if your lender says that after careful consideration they still think you are too much of a risk and responds negatively to your application for refinance? The first thing I would do, other than finding ways to make the monthly mortgage payment on time, would be to check with the state to find out how long it will take to foreclose on a house and what to expect.

Then saving money to finance your move has to take precedence over anything else. So keep up with the monthly bills but if your lender is going to foreclose, save the house payment for several months for your new rental. Go over your finances and simplify as much as possible. Get rid of payments you do not need to make and try to reduce the ones you do need to make. Fixing your finances yourself can give you a great sense of relief and accomplishment. Especially if your lender thinks you are too much of a risk, because of your bad credit, refinance with them is out of the question