Now that 2013 is behind us, the New Year brings new opportunities for us to better ourselves in various ways. From dropping those pounds you may have put on over the holidays to giving up that pesky habit, there are a lot of generic resolutions that people make that quickly fall by the wayside. However, one priority that people frequently overlook is making sure they are doing adequate credit monitoring in order to not only make sure their credit score is in good shape, but to also guard themselves against the effects of identity theft.
Here are just a few ways that you can resolve to make identity theft protection a priority in 2014 in order to ensure you won’t have any surprises on your credit report.
- In most cases, the first sign that you have become a victim of ID theft is on a credit card or bank statement. Be meticulous in scanning all of these documents regularly to look for signs of fraudulent purchases.
- Be aware that there are scammers everywhere. Even though there are of course legitimate sweepstakes and offers that will actually pay off in the long run, the rule of thumb to follow is to never go for any offer that seems too good to be true.
- Use security features that will help you in the long run, including virus software on your computer and internet encryption programs.
The first thing you should do to start off the new year is to check out your credit report, as each of the three major credit reporting bureaus – TransUnion, Experian and Equifax – are obliged to offer you one on an annual basis. A credit monitoring service, however, will keep tabs on your credit report activity and alert you to certain activity that may indicate fraud.