Are you aware of the fact that there are about 9 million people in the United States who have their identities stolen every year? That’s right; millions and millions of people become the victims of identity theft. To make matters worse, with identity theft not being taken seriously, many individuals do not find out that their identities have already been stolen until it is too late. With this being pointed out, you should already do everything you can when it comes to your identity protection so you would not have to be part of the statistics.
Before we discuss identity theft protection, let us first provide you with a quick overview on what identity theft actually is. Basically, this takes place when another person acquires information about you, such as personal details, credit card data, Social Security number, etc. to commit crimes like fraud. Once these criminals get ahold of your information, you can expect them to immediately begin making charges, opening new lines of credit, and taking out debts under your name.
What You Can Do to Safeguard Yourself
There are several different ways on how you can safeguard yourself from the criminal acts of identity thieves. Of course, you can always obtain the best identity theft protection service, but you should know that, in addition to this, there are a number of no-cost methods that you can implement. So aside from acquiring an identity theft protection program, make sure that you also perform the following:
- Secure your online information. You can do this by always clearing out the login credentials (usernames and passwords) for your online accounts. Make it a habit to routinely change your login information.
- Use your credit card to pay for purchases you made online. Credit card companies have tighter security measures than debit cards and online payment services.
- Keep all of your security software, most particularly your phishing alert (or anti-phishing) program, updated.
- Take the time to monitor your credit card statements, bank account statements, and credit report. If there are charges or abnormalities in the data, contact the appropriate department as quickly as possible.
- Be aware that there are some phishing websites that have logos mimicking those of established companies. In other words, you should not just click on an online advertisement just because it looks like Facebook or another website that you frequent. Just head directly to the site you want to visit.
Use a Protection Service to Greatly Increase your Security
The five tips discussed above are basically DIY identity theft protection methods. However, these are not always foolproof, which is why you should still consider obtaining an identity protection service. The best identity theft protection service is one that comes with the most important features, such as identity safeguarding, credit monitoring, reimbursement, and resolution. While it is true that you would have to spend a little more every month for these services, you should know that these will greatly increase your security, thus; provide you with a greater peace of mind knowing that your identity is safe.