Identity Theft Protection Toolbox

The Right Tools for Identity Theft Protection

Identity theft protection is necessary if you want to do your part to avoid becoming a victim of the crime. With the right arsenal of weapons in your toolbox, you can both lessen the likelihood of it happening and make recovery easier if, despite your best efforts, your identity is stolen anyway.

Evaluate Your Passwords

It may seem impossible to memorize the sheer volume of passwords that you have for various accounts, so it is tempting to make the task easier by making them all relatively similar. Try to avoid this temptation!

If your passwords are all similar, once an identity thief has hacked one account, the others are vulnerable. Make each password unique, try to avoid using personally identifying information (your name, children's names, birthdays, etc), and make sure you change them often.

Credit Monitoring Services

The credit bureaus and many other third-party companies offer credit monitoring services that immediately alert you if a change has taken place on your credit record. This can give you forewarning that your credit has been stolen, because it tells you if credit accounts are being opened or if existing accounts are being hacked, without the need to check your credit report on a monthly basis (you are only entitled to one free check of your credit report each year).

Identity Theft Insurance

Most major insurance companies now offer some sort of identity theft insurance policy that can be purchased for a modest annual premium. These services may help you monitor your credit report, but, most importantly, they assist you in recovering if your identity is stolen.

These companies can also offer financial recompense to help you pay your bills if your accounts are hacked and money stolen, and they will assign an agent to you that will do all the legwork that is required (phone calls, letter writing, etc) to contact all of your creditors (legitimate and illegitimate) and straighten things out.

If you tried to fit this all into your normal day, it could take years and cause an inordinate amount of stress. However, if your purchase the insurance, they will do it all for you, with minimal participation on your part. With this being the case, the insurance could prove to be the most invaluable tool in your identity theft protection toolbox!

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