With identity theft on the rise as one of America's fastest-growing crimes, it's becoming more and more imperative that Americans arm themselves with some form of fraud protection. Having professional and reputable identity fraud protection services monitoring your credit files, and alerting you in the event of a potential fraudulent activity, can go a long way in minimizing the damage that this crime can have on your life.
But there are also simple tips you can implement yourself into your day-to-day routine for smart and effective fraud protection. If you're looking to a way to be proactive while reducing your risk of becoming an identity fraud victim, try incorporating some of the following tips into your daily life:
- Keep your wallet light: While your wallet is supposed to be a convenient, one-stop location for your cash, credit cards and driver's license, don't pack it with anything you absolutely don't need. Important documents like Social Security cards, birth certificates and scraps of paper with passwords written on them should stay at home. If your wallet is ever lost or stolen, an ID thief could use any one of these to wreak havoc on your finances.
- Think before you click: Avoid clicking on links that look suspicious or untrustworthy. There is no shortage of websites and phishing emails on the Internet that can all too easily infiltrate your computer and steal important data.
- Check your credit report: By monitoring your credit report for changes you can detect identity theft shortly after it occurs, allowing you to respond quickly and minimize potential damages to your bank accounts or financial reputation.
- Opt out: You may have already considered opting out of receiving unsolicited mail and emails such as credit card offers just to cut back on junk mail. Doing so can help reduce your risk of identity theft as well, because what is junk mail to you can be treasure to crooks.
- Secure your mail: It’s not just these credit card offers that put you at risk, its much of the mail that you receive each day. We hear so many news stories about hackers and phishing on the internet, that we can forget our paper mail is just as dangerous. Bills, financial statements, and even family letters can contain personal information that a criminal could use to assume your identity on a new credit application.
There are plenty of little things like the above tips that you can practice on a daily basis in minimizing your chances of becoming an ID theft victim. But for comprehensive coverage, seek the help of and identity theft protection service like Identity Guard. With our variety of products, we specialize in helping people help protect themselves from identity theft. From a comprehensive credit monitoring program to a personal privacy protection plan, Identity Guard can help you find the right service to fit your needs and lifestyle.