Driden's Gentleman's Club - Credential Verification
Identity theft has gotten worse. It used to be that people would steal your identity, and then they'd mess with your credit. With the web being used for so much more, online identity theft has become something even worse. Many employers will do a web search on prospective employees to find out about them (which is actually a smart move - you can never tell if someone is who they really say they are in the interview).
However, there is a new form of identity theft that is making this dangerous for everyone. There are people that actually set up fake accounts at social networking sites pretending to be someone else. This can be dangerous, because if someone were to impersonate you on a social networking site, and post things that are damaging to your character, this can cost you a job. Plus, with the economy the way it is and credit harder and harder to get, some lenders may start using this in conjunction with your credit report to see what kind of person you are, to see if you're trustworthy.
It's extremely important to protect yourself from identity theft by keeping up with your credit report. It's equally important that you set up your profile on as many social networking sites as possible. If you don't intend to ever use it, that's fine. Set it up, and put a link to the one you do use, or to your website, or put a note that it's just "cyber squatting" to make sure nobody can steal your identity.
In addition, there are people that register domain names of people, when they are not those people. It's important to make sure that you register a domain name that is your name.
I've set up the ones below. If anyone says that they see something about me on one of these sites, and it's not these profile pages, then it's not really me. If they say they see me on another site that's not listed here, it's not really me. This is my way of protecting my online identity - to show who I am online. This website is my online identity. The below is my online protection.
Driden.com and Calbreath.com, these are my domains.
Just a note: I mentioned before about your offline identity and keeping track of your credit score. I found this site (this, as with the other links on this page, is not a paid link, I get nothing for you clicking it) that allows you to monitor your website free - truly free. They do not require a credit card to be on file or anything like that. The site is Quizzle. There is a limit, however. You can only pull a credit report about once every 180 days. It comes to about two reports a year.
However, by using this in conjunction with the government's site Annual Credit Report, you can get your report about five times a year. Annual credit report lets you pull a report from each of the three credit bureaus once per year. You don't have to pull them all at the same time, however, so you can pull from here three times a year, then from Quizzle twice a year.
Time it right, you're basically looking at a new report every two ana a half months. This allows you to pull a report, and if there's anything that needs work (or disputed), do the work (or dispute), then two or three months later check to make sure it is off of your credit report.
You can also set up an account at Credit Karma. It won't pull a full credit report for you, but will give you a high level overview, as well as your credit score. You can request an update of the information at any time - however, as credit bureaus only update their information once a month, there's really no point in doing it more often than that.
In addition to these parts of your credit, it's important to pay attention to other items. PrivacyRights.org is a website designed to help you monitor who's monitoring you. They have very good information on the various sites that are watching you, from credit bureaus to driving records, they can help you identify what others are saying about you.
In conclusion, protect your offline identity by checking your credit. Protect your online identity by setting up your own social networking pages. Don't let anyone claim to be you. You are great, protect yourself!