Identity theft is a big problem for Australia. It is estimated that one in five Australians have had their information stolen at least once. Criminals have various ways of stealing your personal information. They can implement low and high tech ways of collecting your data. A break in to your car or home can be as effective as breaking into your email or social media account for getting vital data. Once a criminal has your information then you might become a victim of identity theft. That information might be used to get into your bank account, open a credit account in your name, buy a car or possibly transfer ownership of your home to someone else. Identity theft is a time consuming, expensive and devastating experience for the victim.
Identity Theft in Australia
More than 770,000 Australians experienced identity theft in some form within the past 12 months. On average, these victims of identity theft suffered losses of around $4,000 and that came to cost the Australian economy $1.6 billion. Each of these incidents took around 18 hours to resolve but they leave lasting scars to those who experience it firsthand. Most victims will go on to changing their social media account details as well as what bills they will receive by traditional mail. It can be a haunting experience that stays on their minds for a long time. There are some things that you can do to prevent becoming a victim of identity theft.
Preventing Identity Theft
Preventing identity theft begins with protecting your personal information. Your address, date of birth, phone numbers or any other personal details should not be available online or given out to any unauthorised people. Shredding old documents and receiving bills via email can cut down on the paper trails you leave behind. Changing passwords regularly is a good form of defense. Checking your credit report on a regular basis is the best way to make sure that there is no fraudulent activity against you.
Until you become a victim of identity theft, you would doubt it will ever happen to you. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of thousands of Australians falling victim to this vicious crime every year. You should take steps now to ensure that this crime never happens to you. Watching for the warning signs and checking your credit report regularly will help keep you safe from criminals that want to take everything you have.