Protect Yourself From Identity Theft: 7 Steps To Take Now

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Identity theft is one of the most common forms of fraud, and it can have devastating consequences. It can ruin your credit, open you up to financial losses, and even put you in danger of being a victim of fraud or other crimes. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your identity from theft. Here are 7 steps you can take right now to protect yourself:

1. Monitor Your Credit Report

You should regularly monitor your credit report to make sure there aren’t any unauthorized charges or accounts opened in your name. You can get a free copy of your credit report once a year from the three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian). This way, if someone has stolen your identity and opened new accounts, you’ll be able to spot them and take steps to close them.

2. Use Strong Passwords

Using strong passwords is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft. Make sure to create a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols, and use different passwords for different accounts. It’s also important to change your passwords regularly.

3. Always Use Secure Websites

When you’re shopping online or entering personal information on a website, make sure to look for the “https” in the website address. This ensures that the website is secure and that any data you enter is encrypted.

4. Protect Your Social Security Number

Your Social Security number is one of the most important pieces of information that an identity thief can use to steal your identity. Make sure you never give out your Social Security number to anyone, and never carry your Social Security card with you.

5. Don’t Respond To Phishing Scams

Phishing scams involve emails or websites that ask you to give out personal information or click on a link. Never respond to emails or websites like these, as they are most likely attempts to steal your identity.

6. Dispose of Sensitive Documents Properly

Make sure to shred any documents that contain sensitive information, such as bank statements or credit card offers. This reduces the risk of someone obtaining your personal information.

7. Use a Credit Monitoring Service

Credit monitoring services can help alert you to any suspicious activity on your credit report. This can help you take steps to protect yourself if someone has stolen your identity.

By taking these steps, you can protect yourself from identity theft and the potential damage it can cause. By monitoring your credit report, using strong passwords, and making sure to use secure websites, you can help ensure your identity is safe and secure.

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