Summary: Identity theft is a problem which can affect anyone, and in 2015, there were more than 13 million victims of identity theft in the United States alone. This is why it’s vital to know how to prevent identity theft, and how to stay safe online.
Identity Theft Prevention
We’ve all heard of it, but to make sure it doesn’t happen to you, you must learn what’s considered as and how to prevent identity theft. Essentially, it’s using someone else’s personal information without their consent. The most common motive is financial gain, but sometimes there are other, more sinister motives, and the most common type of identity theft is using someone else’s credit card. Thankfully, this is also the easiest to resolve, as many banks have security measures and policies to handle these situations. A more damaging form of identity theft is when someone steals your personal information, and uses it to open a credit account in your name. Identity thieves prey on easy victims, people who don’t sufficiently secure their data. While it is impossible to eliminate it entirely, there are ways to help ensure identity theft prevention. You can consult with our best ID theft protection services available and get some great suggestion below.
Tips and Strategies on How to Prevent Identity Theft
The key to identity theft prevention, is to understand how identity thieves operate, and to implement strategies which safeguard you from their attempts.
Strengthen your online security – With so much of our personal information available online, it is critical to take steps to prevent identity theft in cyberspace. The first step is to choose the right passwords. Avoid passwords which can be easily guessed, such as names, birthdays or addresses. Try to mix them up by using characters, numbers, and punctuation marks. Also, fluctuating between lower and upper case letters can be very effective at preventing hacking. Another very important piece of advice: don’t continually use the same password – if one of your accounts is hacked, a thief would have access to all your online accounts.
We suggest using ID Watchdog to combat this, which is available for just $14.95. The standard program will immediately notify you if it detects possible fraudulent activity, and the full program includes credit monitoring for an extra $4. More information can be found on our ID Watchdog review.
Shred and destroy – One of the most effective ways to prevent identity theft is to destroy your information before anyone can find it. Thieves often find information by looking through dumpsters, so make sure to shred all papers with personal or financial information before disposing of them. Similarly, when you delete sensitive files, it is insufficient to just remove them from the desktop or the program files, as they can easily be recovered with minimal tech skills.
We recommend IdentityForce which can help ensure your files are permanently deleted and irretrievable. The software monitors and alerts users, and can be downloaded for just $17.95 a month. For a total cost of $23.95 per month you can also add credit monitoring. More information can be found on IdentityForce review.
Protect your Social Security Number – If someone obtains your full name, address and just the last four digits of your social security number, it can often be enough for them to assume your identity. Don’t carry your social security card around together with your driver’s license or other ID, and never use any part your social security number as part of a password or PIN.
We recommend ID Shield, which is available at $9.95 per month for personal use. It uses SSN Skip Trace fraud detection to identify fraudulent usage of your social security number and prevent any financial losses and identity theft. More information can be found on IDShield review.
Protect your passwords and PINs – Never store your passwords or PINs anywhere which is accessible, nor on your computer if it’s not encrypted. If you have any documents with login information, make sure it’s password protected.
Encrypted password manager programs, such as Dashlane, are a great tool for ensuring password protection. The basic Dashlane software is available for free, and the premium version is just $3.33 per month. More information can be found on our Dashlane review.
Shop securely online – A great way to prevent identity theft is to only shop with reputable online companies, such as a big, national brands. Always check if a site is secure before providing any personal or financial information, and don’t store your information on their website, even if it is convenient. If you can use a separate credit card for online purchases, then do so, as it offers significant extra protection.
If you regularly shop online and are concerned about identity theft, then we suggest using PrivacyGuard. It’s available for just $19.99 per month, and it takes a proactive approach to identity theft prevention. It performs daily scans of credit reports, which ensures the immediate detection of any fraudulent activity. More information can be found on PrivacyGuard review.
Protecting your identity online is essential nowadays – and prevention is always easier than defense.