When someone breaks into a home these days, the physical items that are valuable are not all they are looking for anymore. Some of the bits of paper, envelopes, and mailings that you never think twice about tossing on the coffee table can be the most damaging items a burglar could get his hands on. Identity theft and credit fraud can take years to come back from, and the paperwork and legal battles which must be fought to right one’s good name and good credit can be costly and come out of the victim’s pockets. It might take weeks or even years for the burglar to begin using the information, or for the summation of someone using your details and credit cards to catch up and become known. When the victim has just managed to forget about the horrible feelings of violation that a break in can create, the situation comes back to haunt the homeowner by way of hefty fines from unpaid credit card bills, or a credit report that comes back bad completely surprising the owner. There are some quick ways to keep your home security tight and avoid credit fraud and identity theft. Taking a few minutes to properly dispose of or store various pieces of paperwork can be a real lifesaver!
The best way to prevent a person from stealing your identity or committing fraud without your knowledge is to make your home and mailbox inaccessible. Put a lock on your mailbox and make sure to use it. This way, nobody can simply reach in and take out credit offers, especially pre-approved high limit offers. Having the mailbox locked also eliminates the risk that someone can put together various bits of information about you by scanning your mail on a regular basis. Grabbing just a piece of junk mail or two each week can yield your insurance information, phone number, email, credit card details, bank account numbers and so much more! If you suspect that someone has already tampered with your mail, report it immediately to the proper authorities and get a lock on the mailbox right away. Protect the home by making it more challenging to break into in the first place by using deterrents like a home alarm system.
Should the worst happen and someone breaches your home security and gets inside, make sure all important details are locked away in a lockbox or safe. In today’s digital world, do not store important details about bank accounts or credit card statements in any permanent manner on the computer. Instead, choose to keep paper copies locked away, or take time to save the details on an external disk or hard drive and lock them up. Limit the number of people with access to the safe to anyone on the accounts whose details are stored inside. If you suspect that someone has already gotten a hold of your credit card details, protect yourself and your home security right away by reporting it to the police. Without initial reports of foul play, it might be too late to come back from fraud or theft by the time things get bad. Covering your tracks with a paper trail is a great way to protect yourself. Ordering a credit report at least once a year is another great way to stay one step ahead of thieves!