Identity Theft Protection Options
Identity theft is a serious problem and one that has grown exponentially due to the Internet and new technologies. Nearly 60 million Americans have had their identity stolen in 2018.
As such, it is important to know how to protect you and your family from such crimes as well as how to identify daily habits that might be responsible for putting you at risk in the first place.
Who is at risk of identity theft?Sadly, anyone can become a victim of identity theft given the right circumstances. As technology advances,
it becomes easier for hackers to access your personal information and to use it for their own gain.
There are many ways in which hackers can obtain access to your personal and private information. Some of these include:
- installing card skimming and pin capturing devices on card machines
- sending phishing emails that asking for personal information
- hacking public Wi-Fi hotspots
How to Lower the Risk of Becoming a Victim of Identity TheftWhile this is by no means an exhaustive list, the tips below offer several approaches you can take towards lowering your risk of becoming an identity theft victim.
1. Check Your Credit ReportThis can be done annually for free and is one of the best way to catch a thief in the act. A credit report will detail exactly what has been opened in your name and for what amount so that you can take action immediately.
2. Check Your Bank Statements and Bills RegularlyAlthough it can get mundane, you must be sure to check all billing statements and bills coming in the mail to ensure that you aren't noticing any suspicious activities or fraudulent charges on your accounts.
3. Use Credit Whenever PossibleInstead of using your debit card, try using a credit card instead. This will aid in keeping your bank account information protected and secure from skimming devices.
4. Use Protective SoftwareWhen you visit your local coffee shop or other venues that offer free Wi-Fi, make sure you have protective software installed on all your technological devices to make it more difficult for thieves to get their hands on your private information.
6. Shred Papers and DocumentsOnce you are sure you are done with your mail and documents, be sure to shred them before putting them in the trash can. Doing so will thwart predators from gleaning information from bills and financial statements.
7. Create Strong PasswordsMake sure to create strong passwords for all of your online accounts and to change them regularly. If you plan to store your passwords somewhere, be sure to secure them in a safe location as well.
Best Identity Theft ServicesAlthough identity service cannot actually keep your data 100% safe, they can monitor your data for signs of identity thieves and make sure they can recover your identity if stolen.
The following are a few of the best identity theft protection services you can obtain to keep yourself and family safe:
- ID WatchDog
Stay vigilant, pay attention to the sites you give your information to and make sure they have the proper protection. It can be done, you just need to become aware of your practices and be smart about your data.