Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Protect Yourself, Before Someone Wrecks You!

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(ThySistas.comIt’s a sad fact of our society, but many people find themselves victims of crimes which can wreck their life. While some crime is senseless and unavoidable, there are the thing you can do to reduce the likelihood of being involved in certain incidents such as burglary, or identity fraud. Read on to find out what these are, so you can keep you home and finances as safe as possible.

Only use genuine shops online

You can stop yourself being a target of crime by being very aware of the online shops that you use. Look out for symbols of secure payment, and stick to the larger name brands that you can trust such as Amazon and eBay.

These sites allow you to buy from multiple sellers, with no risk to yourself as it’s the host company that deals with the interactions with you and from your account. That means even if the actual vendor is not safe, you details will be.

Keep your credit card details safe

The next thing you can do to reduce the likelihood of being a victim of things like credit card fraud is to be very careful with your card details. Don’t be like those crazy people that post a picture online when they get a new credit card through the post!

Also, your credit and cash card number are something that only you should know. That means you shouldn’t don’t tell you a PIN number to anyone. Even if it would be convenient for them to get cash out for you, as it’s just too much of a risk.

Remember too that you should not keep a record of your PIN along with your credit card in case you forget it. This is because if you do lose it, you have just made it 100 times easier for someone to get hold of your money, without even really trying.

Shred your documents

Identity theft is something that folks are also concerned about these days. This is because so many transactions can be done online, without ever having to talk to a person or provide a form of identification in the usual manner.

But one way that you can help protect yourself against identity theft is to shred any documents that contain your personal details. Instead of just throwing them out in the trash or the recycling.

This is because through gaining your details fraudsters can use them to open up accounts and buy things in your name.

In particular, this can happen with taking out debts on houses and cars as well as credit cards. Which leaves you liable for the debt if you cannot prove that it was someone else that took it out.

To make this easier, you can get small shredders both electrical, and hand operated. Keep one of these at home, and in the office to destroy documents with your personal details on, before you throw things out.

Or if all of this and like too much hassle, you can get a garden incinerator in which you regularly burn documents that contain your personal details.

Just remember that it is advised that you keep at least three years of records from your bank accounts, business receipts, and pay slips for tax and auditing purposes.

Get good antivirus software

You can also seriously reduce the risk of being a victim of crime, by keeping your computer security up to date.

Good security software will alert you when you go on a site that doesn’t have the proper certificates. Which are more likely to be ones that are harvesting personal information to be used later for fraud and other purposes.

Be aware of your surroundings

Something else that you can do to protect yourself from being a victim of crime is to be aware of your surroundings when you are out and about as much as you can.

For example, if you are at a cash machine in an area that you don’t know, it’s best not wave around the card or the wad of money you have just withdrawn.

Make it look like someone is home

Another way that you can protect yourself from the crime that can put your finances in danger is to burglarproof your home.

This may entail setting up a burglar alarm, or a CCTV system to monitor what is going on in and around your priority when you are not there.

It can also help to use smart lights which can be turned on and off remotely. As these can make it seem like there are people at home, even when there are not. Sort of like what Kevin in Home Alone did, but without the booby traps.

Start a neighborhood watch group

Something else that can benefit you as an individual, as well as your community, is to set up a neighborhood watch group.

These are groups of residents that agree to keep an eye on each other properties when the owner is not home. That means the community works together as a team to prevent burglaries and other crimes through observation and reporting anything usual to the police.

It usually entails having a monthly meeting, where information is shared, and everyone is made aware of what to look out for and the procedure for alerting the police in certain situations. You can even ask police offer to come and speak at these groups on subjects like how to keep your garage and outhouses secure, and how to prevent bike and car theft.

In fact, just having an active neighborhood watch can deter burglaries. As well as bring the neighborhood together in. So it’s a very worthwhile thing to do.

Liaise with the police regularly

Lastly, something that you can do to protect yourself is to keep in close contact with the police. This can be done through your neighborhood watch, as mentioned above. Or you can act as an individual citizen. Although there are two things, you need to watch out for.

The first is remembering that the police are very busy and they don’t need to know about every little update. Unless they ask, or its an emergency.

Secondly, not all neighborhoods have the best relationship with the Police. But in these cases, it is important to foster a relationship of trust between both parties. So a win-win situation can be reached that will work for everyone.

Staff Writer; Shelia Love

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