Today, a person can’t be too careful when it comes to protecting themselves from fraudulent behavior.
Fraud is a deceptive claim or act that is meant to trick another person in efforts to obtain some form of gain, such as a monetary gain.
Fraud can take many different forms, including identity theft, mail, phone, and Internet fraud.
One of the main types of fraud that businesses are faced with regularly is the theft and re-selling of confidential or employee records.
Because of this, people must know how to protect their private records, and understand what else they need to do in order to prevent fraud from happening to them.
Best Ways Individuals Can Prevent Fraud
Preventing fraud can be as simple as making sure you do everything you can to protect your personal information from falling into the wrong hands.
This could include limiting the number of credit cards and accounts you have that are no longer active, installing a lockable mailbox, and shredding pre-approved credit offers or anything that might contain a social security number.
Make sure that you don’t put social security numbers on checks, driver’s licenses or any document that is easily accessible- or easily stolen.
Knowing what scams are active and avoiding them is also a good idea. If it sounds too good to be true, it’s likely a scam.
Giveaways, contests, free vacations or vacation rentals, offers to invest in the “latest” technology, and cures for diseases are all very common scams and should be approached with caution or avoided entirely.
Calls, emails, or letters requesting that a person send money in order to make money are also red flags.
Avoid giving out social security numbers, credit card information, or bank information by phone, even if the person on the phone line is claiming to be from a bank.
Generally, a bank will not request this type of information by phone. Verification should be made to confirm that the caller is actually who he or she claims. To verify that the caller is legitimate, be sure to call the real institution.
Safe Record Keeping Starts with Organization
Keeping good records is a critical first step when it comes to keeping them safe.
Disorganization and sloppy record keeping can result in documents getting lost, damaged, and vulnerable to theft. To start, records should be separated by importance.
Any records containing sensitive information, including social security numbers, should be kept in a secure location.
Records that are important or hard to replace should also be secured, Some other items that should be properly secured include:
- Military records
- Birth and marriage certificates
- Mortgage paper work or property deeds
- Divorce papers and anything to do with child custody
- Insurance policies
- Trust documents and more
It’s a good idea to secure these documents- preferably in a safe-deposit box or even a fireproof safe in your home. Home safes are also a way to keep important personal documents safe from theft or harm.
A home safe should be fire-proof and kept in a private location. Attorneys may also keep certain records, such as wills, in their safe keeping.
Store your records electronically- but protect them properly
Certain records may also be kept on computers or stored online. In these cases, it is important to maintain the safety of one’s computer to ensure that it is secure.
Computer software, such as its antivirus software, should be kept up-to-date. The best way to do this is to allow the computer to automatically download and then install any security updates as they occur.
Passwords should be complex and updated regularly. If storing records “in the cloud,” ensure that the cloud storage service is well-recognized and secure.
Because any information that is kept in the cloud can be accessed from anywhere, make certain to log off completely when finished.
Want to learn more about protecting you and your company from fraud? Check out these articles!
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How to Dispose of Digital Files Safely– Hard drive disposal is crucial in keeping away from fraud and identity theft. Find out what your options are, and which is best for you.