How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Determined hackers have never had more tools at their disposal than they do today, which means identity theft has never been a more real threat. As this particular sort of misfortune becomes more and more common, you have to be extra vigilant in order to protect yourself. 

You Could Be Next

According to a 2018 survey, around 60 million Americans have been affected by identity theft; 15 million of those instances occurred in 2017 alone. If you’re not being proactive about protecting yourself from these sorts of threats, you’re essentially turning identity theft into a question of “when?” and not “if.” 

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Luckily, protecting your identity isn’t as difficult as you might imagine, and only takes a little bit of legwork on your part. 

Guarding Yourself

Often, people only start to think about identity theft after they’ve already been targeted. This can mean that they notice unauthorized purchases showing up on their accounts, or more damaging, a loan or credit card has been taken out in their name. The process of clearing up identity theft can be tiresome; it’s much easier to prevent it from happening at all. 

Some of the simple steps you can take to prevent identity theft are:

  • Do not use the same simple password for every account, and change your passwords often.
  • Monitor your accounts frequently to catch suspicious activity.
  • Place fraud alert or monitoring on your credit report.
  • Avoid buying items on questionable sites, even if they’re cheaper. 

These methods won’t put a strain on your daily life, but will greatly improve your level of identity protection. Take a few moments to heed these warnings; you’ll be happy you did when you’re not cleaning up someone else’s debt.