Avoid Fraudulent Debt

As much as we at Credit Card Debt Consolidators would like the opposite, it unfortunately is virtually impossible to live your life entirely without debt. There are things that must be purchased, like it or not, with credit. A home, a car and other major purchases simply must be financed, as it would be nearly impossible to save to buy them. But, the North American lifestyle, which is to buy now, pay later, is certainly not something we like. Certainly its effects over the long term can be quite devastating. Which is why we applaud the efforts of people who manage their finances well, and keep a financial stability despite the temptations to the contrary.

Yet, you can lead a good life, living well below your means, and still experience an attack which very few of us are ready for. Despite law enforcement's moves to the contrary, there are criminals among us. They target your personal information in order to use it for their gain - from fake credit card purchases to identity theft. There is, however, ways to fight them. Being pro-active is the best way to start.

Foil Identity Thieves Before They Strike

You are not defenseless to identity theft. There are a number of things you should do to begin. First, take a look at your Internet use. While the Internet is a superb place for research, purchasing nice things and getting information, it also unfortunately puts you out in the open as far as identity thieves are concerned. At least, it does add a small element of risk. A good way to protect your identity on the web is by avoiding common passwords for the number of sites you may log in to. Many people use the same password for a number of sites, and use such common things as their wife's name, their birthday or the name of their child. This should always be avoided, as thieves may only need to know one thing to open up a virtual treasure trove of information about you.

Another important consideration when surfing the web is that you consult a company's privacy policy before you give out information. Ensure that they do not give out information to third parties, which should not be the case in most instances anyway. Also, when you are given an opportunity to "opt out" of a company's marketing plans, which may include partners. The fact is, the more companies with their hands on your personal information, the more chances you may be liable to end up encountering identity theft.

Information In The Real World

Outside of the Internet, there are much riskier things that many of us are guilty of on a regular basis. One example is the way we dispose of financial documents, many of which may contain personal details. Never simply throw out receipts, credit card offers and especially credit card and bank statements. Purchasing a paper shredder for less than $40 today can save you thousands in the future. Use it! As well, ensure that any bills you pay are posted in marked mail boxes, as opposed to left in your personal mailbox.

Be Safe, But Not Paranoid
When it comes to protecting your personal financial information, it is important to be safe, but not necessarily paranoid. The fact is, the chances of your identity being stolen by thieves is probably less than one percent if you practice the right measures (like the ones above). So simply keep a buyer-beware viewpoint, and you will likely be fine.

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