What Is Identity Theft Protection – A Quick Guide To Keep You Safe

what is identity theft protection

What Is Identity Theft Protection

The idea of identity theft is scary, but we usually don’t think about it. It’s something that probably won’t happen to me, right? Well, 6.5 percent of American consumers were affected by identity theft in 2016. That means it’s not likely, but still very possible. It’s a good idea to understand what is identity theft protection and to have an idea of the steps you can take toward fraud prevention.

what is identity theft protection

Here’s a crash course.

Update Your Passwords

Some passwords are easy for hackers to guess. So easy, in fact, that they’ve made a list of the most common passwords.

Have you chosen one of these most common passwords? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean you’re not vulnerable.

Hackers are getting better at stealing your passwords. It’s important for you to change your passwords every month or so, even if just by a character or so.

That’s right–it’s worth changing “Fun123” to “Fun1234.”

But what if you do update your password regularly, and it’s complicated? Is that enough?

Maybe. But one more step is to switch up your passwords on different websites.

If you have the same website across every account you use, it only takes one hacking for a thief to gain access to all of your info.

And then your fraud prevention effort will have been for nothing.

Monitor Financial Statements

Once you’ve mastered the switch of the password, it’s time to monitor what those passwords are guarding.

what is identity theft protection

If you’re unlucky enough to experience fraud, the perps will use your information to make purchases with your money.

That would be unfortunate. However, that also means it’s easy to see if someone is stealing money from you.

Make a habit out of scrolling or flipping through documents which show your recent financial activity. That means documents like bank statements and credit reports.

If you do find purchases you didn’t make, don’t panic–contact your bank. They’ll more than likely reimburse you for the fraudulent purchases.

You’ll be better prepared to avoid the next time around.

Clean up the Trail

In order to avoid fraud, you need to pick up the pieces that a thief might put together.

That means containing the information that a thief might be looking for.

A wide range of actions can make your fraud prevention final. One important routine you should have is to shred documents related to your financial information.

shredded documents

You never know who’s lurking in your recycling bin just to find one piece of mail that might help them.

In addition, make sure you don’t give out your personal information to sites you don’t know well.

If you’ve heard about phishing, you know this. There are scammers out there pretending to be legitimate people only to ask you for your financial information.

This eventually allows them to take your identity.

But not if you’re prepared.


Watch this quick informational video for more tips on how to protect your identity.


Fraud Prevention is Within Reach

Now that you have a better understanding of what is identity theft protection, you’ll be able to hold off any simple attempts to steal your identity.

That could make a big difference one day, and you won’t even know it. Feel free to continue browsing to learn more about securing your online assets. Stay safe!

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4 Comments

  1. I didn’t realize how easy it is for hackers to get in to my accounts, I’ll have to switch passwords more often.

    Do you recommend anything to help keep track of password changes?

    Also, I like the video you’ve added and how keeping track of your security should be a part of a routine, very helpful.

    Thanks for this!

    • Hi Samantha,

      It’s really easy for hackers to get into your accounts these days.  They have different types of tactics at there disposal to accomplish this.

      Some common ones are via phishing attacks or dumpster diving for documents that may contain sensitive personal information.

      There are several good password manager software programs out there.  I like Dashlane as it free to use and if you desire more security features it’s only $3.33 per month to upgrade to premium. 

      Check it out.  It can help you do a better job of managing and securing your passwords.

      Patrick

  2. Hello Patrick!

    It’s a shame so many people are experiencing identity theft nowadays. It’s becoming common.

    Recently, I had my debit card information stolen from a site that my son uses to play video games. The people were taking $25-50 per day! Your advice to be careful of what sites we use could have prevented that in part.

    The other advice we were given by the bank was to clear our computers of our information. Somehow, people are able to extract your information from your computer when you have the data saved there. Have you heard of that?

    Great article.

    • Hi Tiffany,

      Yes it is a shame and it’s creating havoc in our ability to conduct business over the internet.

      In addition, businesses are spending billions to protect their servers and networks against outside digital intruders. 

      Unfortunately those costs get passed on to you and me the consumer.

      If your son enjoys a game site and he uses it often you should be able to feel safe on that site.  I would only use reputable sites and stay away from those that seem shady.

      One other thing, if possible use a credit card instead of your debit card.  Fraudulent transactions are much easier to resolve when you use a credit card.  The process of getting your funds back with debit transactions is a much more difficult process.

      I’m not quite sure about your banks advice, but if you get a virus on your computer, anything can be stolen from it.

      The best advice I can give is to make sure you have a very good virus protection software like Norton installed on it and run a virus scan from time to time.

      Norton has a monthly fee, so try the free version of Malwarebytes. It does a good job of finding viruses on your PC.

      Thanks,

      Patrick

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