Trans4mind Home Page
~ Making the Human Heart Visible ~

Looking for a better life?

Our online, interactive video workshops present the most effective methods of personal development, combined with personal support from expert life coaches.

Explore Article Library

What Everyone Should Know About Reducing the Risk of Identity Theft

By Etienne A. Gibbs

Identity theft commonly begins with the loss or theft of a wallet or purse. But there are many or high-tech and low-tech ways criminals can get their hands on your personal and financial information in order to commit identity theft.

When someone uses your name or personal information, such as your credit card number, driver's license number, Social Security number, telephone number, or other account numbers, without your permission, you become a victim of identity theft.

Thieves steal your personal information and use it to open credit accounts, bank accounts, telephone service accounts, and make major purchases in your name. These criminals use your sensitive information to take over existing accounts, or open new accounts. Their criminal activities can result in damage to your credit rating and denials to credit and job offers.

Protecting Your Identity While there are no guarantees that your identity will never be stolen or compromised, there are several steps you can take to minimize the risks. Here are a few of them:

Before you discard your personal information that you no longer need, such as credit card receipts, billing statements, and pre-approved credit card offers, shred them using, at best, a diagonal-cut shredder.

Create unique passwords and personal identification numbers (PINS) and avoid using easily available information such as mother's maiden name, date of birth, or last four digits of your Social Security number.

Do not give your Social Security number to people or companies that you do not know.

Guard your mail from theft. Promptly remove your incoming mail from your mailbox and place outgoing mail in locked collection boxes at your local Post Office.

As an extra measure of security, install a lock on your mailbox, even if mail theft is not an identified problem in your neighborhood.

Before disclosing personal information, even to people you know where you shop or do business, insist on knowing the reason(s) your personal information is required and how it will be used.

Low-Tech Rip-offs: Thieves can do much damage with what they remove from your mailbox.

Criminals are increasingly creative in the methods they use to get their hands or eyes on your personal information, and ultimately, your money. Here are some of the low-tech techniques they employ:

Dumpster Diving, one of the easiest ways for them to appropriate your personal information.

Mail Theft from unsecured residential mailboxes. According to statistics, mail theft most often takes place at unprotected and easily accessible mailboxes in public places.

Shoulder surfing takes place when a thief watches or listens literally over your shoulder as you enter your PIN into an ATM machine. They may even follow you home or your place of work to gather additional information about you.

High-Tech Techniques: Data transferred across the Internet can be intercepted during its journey.

Phishing and Pharming: While phishing is a scam in which consumers are tricked into entering their personal information via a bogus email and website form, pharming occurs where hackers steal personal information from numerous people simultaneously through something known as "domain spoofing". They take over a DNS server and redirect user information to a new website that they use to gather, collect, "pharm" illegal information.

Skimming: Thieves quickly and temporarily steal a credit card and run it through a skimmer, a credit card reader that has been reprogrammed to steal information off the card.

Fight Back: Reduce the Risks

Make education about the scams, schemes, and frauds criminal use to steal your identity your priority in view of the rising occurrence of this multi-million-dollar-problem. With education comes prevention. Here are some prevention tips to help reduce the risks:

Safeguard your personal information. Never take simple things for granted.

Carry with your only the information you need. Always keep your personal information and documents in a safe and secured place of your choosing.

Order and review a copy of your credit report at least once a year.

Shred documents containing your sensitive information before discarding them.

For extensive information about ways to protect your identity, visit "Protecting Your Identity" at

About The Author

Known as The Master Blog Builder, Etienne A. Gibbs, MSW, helps small business owners and non-profit organizations improve their customer relationship marketing. Often he comes across cases that are red flags calling identity thieves to come in. Hence, he started the "Protecting Your Identity" blog. Contact him at for more information.

Careers & Employment
Grief & Loss
Kids & Teens
Public Speaking
Self Help
Self Improvement & Motivation
Sexual Relations
Stress Management
Travel and Leisure

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

A great way to support your Trans4mind Training is to use these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Generalized Anxiety Treatment ~ Use hypnosis as a generalized anxiety disorder treatment and you can feel calm today.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
Search on an issue that interests or concerns you...

Trans4mind Training is the best thing we've ever done! It's a series of interactive video workshops covering the key challenges we all face in life - to help you achieve greater inner peace and true fulfillment.
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd