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12 Ways To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

12 Ways To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Identity theft has been going on for centuries, but with the development of the Internet, it has only become easier to steal other people’s personas. It’s very common to hear about someone’s identity getting stolen along with their bank information. These criminals use fake identities to steal money from their victims.

If you don’t want to be a victim of this scheme, here are some ways that you can protect yourself from identity thieves.

1.Don’t post personal information online.

Your name should be enough to reveal your identity to the people who actually know you. Posting your home address, telephone number, email address, and other social media profiles all in one place can make it very easy for thieves to duplicate your identity. As much as possible avoid sharing those details publicly, especially your bank information and social security number.

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2.Don’t use the same email and password for all of your accounts.

A lot of people make this mistake, which only enables thieves to access more of their accounts. Using the same email and password for all of your social media profiles may seem acceptable but with the prevalent security breaches online, it’s not a risk worth taking. Mix and match your email and passwords for all of your online accounts.

3.Use mobile verification.

Gmail, Facebook, Twitter and other select networks have mobile verification that notifies you via SMS if your account was accessed in a suspicious place, like abroad or at a different state. The person who logged in will also be asked for a verification number which he or she won’t be able to access since they don’t have your mobile phone.

4.Save your passwords in a secret place.

Using multiple passwords can make it hard for you to remember all of them, but you can save a copy in a secure location. Instead of saving them on your computer, write your passwords down in a small notebook which you keep safely in your home. You can also write them in unusual places like at the back of your favorite book.

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5.Don’t throw away bills and other documents that contain sensitive information.

Bank statements, utility bills, and other documents that contain your name, account number, birth date, social security number, and other personal data should never be thrown in the garbage. You can burn or shred them so that no one can get your information from them.

6. Don’t give away your ID numbers.

If anyone online asks for your ID number for any particular reason, don’t give it. If you know the person and the reason for asking your ID number is valid, you can meet somewhere and share information there. However, ID numbers are only needed for particular transactions, so you should already be wary if anyone asks you for it.

7.Be careful when sharing on social media.

What you share can be used against you, especially if it’s accessible to the public. Identity thieves can create a brand new account and use your name, photos, and other updates to make their accounts look legitimately yours. Likewise, if you always post where you’re going or what you’re doing, the thieve can take the plot to the next level and find an opportunity to steal from your home.

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8.Mix up your activities and routines.

Identity thieves can easily track your routines if you do the same things repetitively, especially if you post about them online. A smart thief can use these routines to make your fake identity even more convincing. It’s also easier to steal personal paraphernalia from you if you’re easy to track down.

9.Be mindful about unusual activity in your accounts.

If you see a status update on your wall which you didn’t write, it’s time to change your password. Anything that doesn’t make sense should already alert you. Don’t be lenient, especially if you have plenty of assets that can be stolen.

10.Install a security system in your home.

Some identity thieves are also stalkers and they might frequent your home without your knowledge. Having a security system will keep thieves out, especially those who are already very familiar with your house.

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11.Report any threatening or weird messages that you receive.

If you have a stalker, it’s likely that you will receive usual messages like “I saw you” or “I know what you did”. Don’t ignore these. Report them to your network provider so you can change your mobile number or block that number.

12.Don’t trust people easily—especially on the Internet.

A virtual identity is very easy to copy, and if you’re not careful, you might be the one handing identity thieves the information they need. Be mindful about the people you interact with online. You should also have a secure connection to keep your computer protected at all times. Using a SSD cloud VPS hosting service will help you achieve this.
On the Internet, safety is a major concern. You should always be careful with your personal information and take precautionary measures to avoid identity theft and other cybercrimes. If you don’t give thieves what they need, they will never be able to steal anything from you. Last, but not least, be careful when buying products online.

Featured photo credit: Ways To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft via google.com

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

3. Go to All Office Networking Events

Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

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4. Show Initiative

Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

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These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

7. Find a Mentor

With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

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You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

9. Set Your Professional Bar High

Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

“Half of life is showing up.”

The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

Remember, your career is your business!

More About Continuous Growth

Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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