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How to Prevent Identity Theft When Moving

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How to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Moving from a home to another can be a truly exciting experience. There will be new people to meet and friends to make, a welcome change in atmosphere and scenery, and most importantly, a prospect of a new and better life. But while moving opens you to new things, it also exposes you to certain security threats.

One of these threats is identity theft. In identity theft, your personal information is stolen and used by the offending person in his or her benefit and in your utmost disadvantage. Because the risk of having your identity stolen increases when you move, it is important that you learn how to prevent this problem right before you hire a mover. Here is a guide to help you in this endeavor.

Notify Everyone

People who are moving mainly become victims of identity theft through the leftover mail they have in their former residence. When identity thieves get a hold of letters containing your personal information, they become armed to commit the crime. However, this can be prevented by making sure that no leftover document is ever mailed to your previous address. This can be done by notifying every company that sends you important documents through mail. These will include the utility companies you were subscribed to such as the electricity, water, and gas companies which all regularly send you bills through the mail. Publications, banks, insurance companies, and other firms that mail you statements and notifications should be notified about your change in address as well. It is important that you meticulously identify every possible source of mail and let them know that you have moved.

Destroy the Trail

Mail that is mistakenly sent to your old address is not the only source of information that identity thieves use. Even junked mail in your old dumpster can become a weapon in the hands of clever criminals as long as they contain the information that these people need. After all, these documents are typically thrown whole and completely legible. To keep the thieves away from your thrashed mail, you must ensure that they are totally useless by destroying them once and for all. You can use a shredder to destroy any document that may be useful to identity thieves.

Know Your Movers

Identity theft is also possible through the deft hands of unscrupulous moving companies. As you entrust all your items to hired movers, there is a chance that corrupt employees will go over your stuff and look for anything that can be used to steal your identity. While hiring movers can be truly risky, it can be done without any hitch by making sure that the hired help is credible. You must strictly check the background of the moving company that you hire. You can do this by doing sufficient research about the company and the people they hire. It is also recommended that you check at least three companies and choose among them the most reliable and most suitable for your needs.

Secure Your Computers

Other than mail and physical documents, the files in your computer are also information gold for identity thieves. Be it with your laptop, desktop computer, or any digital gadgets, there is bound to be something useful for thieving movers in one of your devices. To make sure that you do not get victimized, protect these devices with strong passwords and other necessary measures that will prevent thieves from accessing your files. To be sure, you can always just move your computers and mobile devices by yourself because even if your movers are properly vetted, there remains a chance that at least one of them is going to ransack your important digital files.

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