Imagine this: you’re running late for work, and there’s an important meeting today that you must attend. In the rush of the moment, you jump into your car, place your keys in the ignition and forget to lock your front door. While at the office, a thief enters your home and steals material possessions, as well as inflict damages within the interior of your home.

This invasion exists as a consequence of poor home security, as it could have been avoided simply through adequate home security. Likewise, identity security should be on your priority list, as establishing a safe and secure physical environment is just as important as creating a virtual one. Potential actions of identity thieves include: draining your bank account, creating new utility accounts, and even filing a tax refund in your name and receiving the payment. Below are eight signs and scenarios to indicate if your identity has been stolen.

1. You recognize unfamiliar and consistent withdrawals from your bank account.

2. Solicitors or debt collectors inform you of debts that are not yours.

3. Your application for a government benefit was declined on the basis that you’re already claiming that specific benefit.

4. You receive bills, invoices or receipts for products or services you didn’t use – in a medical, financial or personal context.

5. Bills and other forms of requested mail fail to arrive.

6. Health insurance will not cover you since your medical records show a condition you don’t have.

7. You have been refused a health policy for harboring a condition you don’t have; or a financial service despite obtaining a positive credit history.

8. A contract of any kind, such as a mobile phone contract, has been established without your knowledge.

Ultimately, effective security, especially surrounding the key to all your personal information – your identity – should be of concern if not properly managed.

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