If you are one of the many consumers in the United States, than you are probably well aware of how important it is to protect your identity. Unfortunately, the system used by the United States and countries all over the world to differentiate consumers is also the system used by many con artists to steal from and harm consumers as well. There are a few pieces of your personal information that I'm sure the majority of con artists would love to have!

This leads us to how these con artists get this pertinent information. Generally, con artists will use various different methods when it comes to stealing a persons identity. In some cases, they will dig through your mail box or your trash can. However, with the world at their fingertips online, it is rare that con artists will go to such great lengths to steal your information anymore. The method most commonly used by con artists is using the internet to find and take all of the information that they may want. This is why many consumers have found themselves scared to do just about anything online. Fortunately, there are ways that you can protect yourself from identity theft online as well. Here are a few tips to start:

Tip #1: Never give any website your personal information unless the information form is secured. Most websites will not pay to have every single page on a secure server however, they will use a secured server when it comes to collecting personal information. A secured server has a few key attributes that you can look for. First off, if you are using E Internet Explorer, on the bottom right hand corner of your browser, you will see a picture of a pad lock at all times. This is a security feature provided by Microsoft that allows users to easily see if the page in the website they are on is secure or not. When the pad lock is closed, the web page is secured, when the pad lock is open, the web page is not secure. On the other hand, if you are anything like me, you most likely don't use E Internet Explorer, you would rather use browsers like Fire Fox and Google Chrome. On these browsers, you are also able to simply tell if a web page is secure or not. If a web page is secure, the url will begin with https://www instead of http://www.

Tip #2: Occasionally, if you are a member to a website, that website will ask you to change your personal information for your security. Unfortunately, because of this, con artists are building mock websites that will look just like the original one and sending emails to members asking them to change their information. If you get an email like this, once you enter the page in which they are requesting your information, make sure that the URL is the same as the one in which you are a member of.

Tip #3: Always be on your toes!!! This is the most important tip of them all. Because of ever changing systems, products and markets, con artists are always trying to come up with new ways to scam you. Stay on your toes and frequently research the newest scam!

Author's Bio: 

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