Safeguarding Your Identity

Like most people, you may have small worries on a daily basis – like remembering whether you mailed out your cellphone bill or if you’ll make it to your dentist appointment on time. But the big worries, such as keeping yourself protected from identity theft and fraud, can be trying on your physical and mental health.

The results of a recent study conducted by Harris Interactive reveal that consumers who take action to protect themselves from identity theft spend less time worrying about this threat. You have a number of options when it comes to safeguarding your personal information from criminals.

Store Your Personal Documents Safely

Keeping your financial and personal paperwork in a secured location is the first step in lowering your risk of falling victim to identity theft. For example, you may choose to keep your birth certificate, Social Security card and passport locked in a safe or deposit box at a bank when you’re not using them. You can also go paperless and receive your financial statements and utility bills online to cut down on clutter and the amount of shredding you have to do.

Online security is also important, and making sure your antivirus and computer programs are up-to-date may lower your risk of losing your information through malicious malware attacks.

Enroll In Credit Monitoring

Most criminals who access your personal information will open new accounts in your name or utilize existing accounts to run up a balance. When these events happen, the account details will be listed on your credit report. Credit monitoring will help keep you abreast of these types of changes, allowing you to detect a possible case of identity theft and put an end to it quickly.

Know the Signs

If you are aware of the identity theft signs, you may be more likely to take action against suspicious behavior than someone who is not educated on this topic. For example, receiving collection notices is one of the most common signs of identity theft, but some people may write this off as a clerical error and miss the warning signs. But learning about these signs will help you detect red flags and take action quickly.

Identity theft can make you feel financially vulnerable and force you to spend time and money trying to recover. But putting safeguards in place to shield your information from wrongdoers can lower your anxiety and give you the freedom to focus on more important things.