Why Government can’t Prevent ID Theft

Why Government can’t Prevent ID Theft

The law enforcement department’s slogan “To Serve and Protect” has quite a nice ring to it. The truth is, while that slogan is honorable, the government cannot really protect everyone all the time. Law enforcement may have the best intentions but we cannot really expect them to keep an eye on all of us.

Also, it is not exactly the law enforcement force’s job to protect every person all the time. That’s just not possible; that would require a police officer to be posted in every house or commercial building 24 hours a day. The government, even though they are trying, just cannot do the job effectively 100% of the time.

A ParamusPost article published in August 2013 sums it up quite perfectly by pointing out that the government is executing concrete steps to protect consumers against identity theft. In fact, the Task Force on Identity Theft was established in 2006, with the goal of improving consumer education and raising awareness, setting regulatory safeguards for identity theft protection, and ultimately improving law enforcement abilities against identity theft. Also, while consumers previously had no access to credit information, the 2003 amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act now enables consumers to gain access to such. We can now request one free credit report per year. This law has set standards in order to ensure accuracy in the credit reports, such as the options for consumers to report inaccuracies to the credit bureaus, as well as incidents that may pose risk for identity theft.

All these do help consumers protect themselves from identity theft. They are helpful monitoring and preventive measures, but it is also ultimately up to the consumer to take further actions to ensure that they do not fall victim to identity theft. The best way is to avoid being the ideal target for those looking to steal your identity. Here are some of the things you should do.

Shred important documents before throwing them away. If a document has your name, address, account numbers and other sensitive information, do not just throw it away without destroying it first. Some people would even go through your trash to reassemble shredded documents so make sure that they are thoroughly destroyed. You do not even need to buy a paper shredder for that; bleach and water would do.

Keep your mailbox locked. To keep mail safe from theft, get a mailbox with a locking mechanism.

Install antivirus and anti-spyware software. With the proliferation of online banking and commerce, criminals have decided to bring their ‘business’ online. Protect your computer by installing the necessary software.

Consider identity theft protection monitoring services. If you need to keep track of a lot of sensitive information and multiple accounts, try investing in services that could help monitor how your information is used. These services could even help you easily restore your identity or information once it is stolen.

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