This post brought to you by LifeLock Facebook. All opinions are 100% mine.
Identity theft is made easy with all of the online access to different things these days. Did you know that over 8 million Americans were victimized by identity theft in 2011? Identity theft is anytime anyone uses your personal information without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. You could be a victim of identity theft right this second and not even know it. Identity thieves can do a lot of damage to your bank account and reputation by stealing your name, address, social security number, credit card information, and more.
Here are some tips for protecting yourself against identity theft:
- Keep a close eye on your credit score. You can check it at www.annualcreditreport.com
- Be sure to look for BOTH a security seal and "https" in the URL when entering ANY personal information online.
- Make strong, hard to crack passwords. Use symbols, numbers, and letters to make hard to guess passwords. How hack friendly is your password?
- Don't share your personal information unless you are sure what it's being used for, especially at doctor's offices or other places of business. Don't be afraid to ask why they need the information.
- Lock up your social security card, passport and other government documents in a safe in your house. Don't carry them on you unless you have to.
- Shred all documents that have any personal information on them.
- Protect your kids' information. Kids are a target because most times, you won't know their identities have been stolen for years.
- Always be alert when using credit cards or ATM cards. If someone really wants your credit card number, they will find a way to get it, such as taking a photo of it at checkout while you wait.
- Guard your mail by switching to a locked post office box or secure mail box in front of your house. Always put your mail on hold while you're away if it is delivered to your house.
All of the information is scary, but the best way to keep your identity safe is with LifeLock. Using an identity protection service like LifeLock is the best way to protect yourself against identity theft. LifeLock has different plans for your specific needs. LifeLock provides five points of protection: monitoring your identity, scanning for identity threats, responding to identity theft, a $1 million guarantee, and tracking your credit score.
If you need more reason as to why you might need LifeLock, check out these stats:
- The average cost per person of having identities stolen is $1,513.
- A total of $18 BILLION was lost in 2011 due to identity theft.
- Households earning $100K + per year have the highest ID theft rate at 7.4%
- 6.6% of victims are smartphone users.
- 6.8% of victims are social media users who click on the applications
- 8.2% of victims are social media users who have "checked in" using their smartphone GPS
- 10.1% of victims are LinkedIn users
Do these stats surprise you? They do me! I think LifeLock would be great for added security. We need to help to protect ourselves against identity theft!