Well, not everyone is as lucky as Jason Bateman to have funny gal, Melissa McCarthy, steal his or her identity.  The movie Identity Thief takes you on a hilarious trip with outrageous mishaps between the two actors. However, in real life, identity theft is no joking matter. Behind all the laughs, the movie brings you to the rash reality that identity theft is no longer a matter of an unauthorized charge or two on your credit card; it can mean someone taking over your life.

At Praxis Consulting, we want you to be prepared for even the worst of these situations.  Here are some quick tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of identity theft:

$11.      Secure your network: If you have WiFi in your home, make sure that the network is secure and locked. Criminals are able to hack networks and can know your every move on the Internet if it is not secure. Read over the documentation on how to ensure your network is safe or ask your Internet provider handle it for you.

$12.      Set banking alerts: In the age of the smart phone, everyone has a banking app. Be sure to set up alerts (email or text notifications) so you know when there is activity happening on your account.

$13.      Do not make purchases on untrusted sites: If you are unfamiliar with the website and the deal is too good to be true, RUN. More than likely this amazing deal is a way to lure you in. Try using payment processors, such as PayPal, to avoid giving out your financial information directly.

$14.      Limit what you carry in your wallet: Many times people fall victim to a pick-pocket and don’t even know it; or, you may have dropped your wallet in the back of cab or out on the street. No matter the circumstances, the less you carry in your wallet, the less information people can gather.

Identify theft can have an impact on your financial life that reaches from your bank account to your credit report. Praxis Credit Consulting offers programs for credit repair if you have been the victim of identity theft. For existing clients, the Praxis Credit University offers guidance, tools and tips to help protect you from identity theft. If you have experienced identity theft, then our online coursework will help you to deal with the circumstances and get you back on the road to credit recovery. . 

 Identity theft has become one of the United States top crimes. It is estimated that on a yearly basis, this crime costs the government an alarming $1.3 Billion. Identity theft works so well because the swindlers are easily able to get all the information and documentation about their victim that they need. Another very alarming fact is that theft of an identity can go completely unnoticed for many months prior to the realization that the crime has occurred. In 2007, the United States will implement a new Type of identification card. This card will have biometrical information on the individual.

Read more: How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Will we ever get a break? Not right now. In San Diego, police arrested a postal worker for stealing mail and trading it to identity thieves to support his drug habit.

Another arrest involved the hacking of wireless carrier T-Mobile USA's network. According to Fox News, the attacker gained access to a database of 16 million customers including the personel information of the Secret Service agent investigating the break in.

Read more: Safeguarding Can't Hurt

When we think of identity theft, children are probably not the first victims we might imagine. Unfortunately, more and more kids are being targeted for this crime, and the culprits may not be who you think. Right now, approximately 4% of all identity theft cases involve children, which means roughly 400,000 kids a year are having their futures ruined without their knowledge. * In an article on MSNBC.com, a 24-year old man explained that by the age of 10, his identity had been used to accumulate almost $250,000 in debt and to commit a felony. Another victim, a 9-year old boy, received a collection notice for a $2,000 debt.

Read more: Identity Theft's Young Victims: How to Protect Your Children's Identities

Each year, thousands of people around the world fall victim to identity theft… the assumption of their identity by others in an attempt to empty their bank accounts, establish fake lines of credit in their name, or to take advantage of current lines of credit and max out any credit cards that they might currently have.

Luckily, there are some simple steps that you can take that will help you to avoid identity thieves and keep your personal and financial information private. The tips provided below are designed to help you to protect your identifying information, though in the end the implementation of them is up to you.

Read more: Simple Ways to Help Avoid Identity Theft
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