Identity theft protection practices are becoming increasingly more important. According to a recent study, American consumers lost $52 billion to identity fraud in 2021 alone. If this statistic concerns you, you may be looking for ways to prevent identity theft from happening to you and your family.
The good news is that some of the best identity theft protection techniques can be done on your own by following a few helpful tips and tricks. More advanced protection is available through a variety of theft protection services. Continue reading below to learn how to protect your identity and avoid becoming a victim.
Before you learn about identity theft protection, it is important to understand identity theft so you can recognize the warning signs. Identity theft is any scam, act or deception that results in the loss of your personal information. This information is then used to commit fraud or other crimes.
Identity thieves target the following types of information:
- Credit card numbers
- Social Security numbers
- Bank account information
- Usernames and passwords
- Health insurance information
If you aren’t careful or do not know a few ways to prevent identity theft, you may be surprised by just how quickly and easily it can happen to you. If you’re like most Americans, you use sensitive information every day when you pay for things with a credit card, log into your online bank account or purchase items online.
However, what you may not know is that each time you swipe your card at the gas station or save your passwords in the “cloud,” you are vulnerable to identity theft.
The goal of identity theft protection services is to make you less vulnerable to these types of breaches. Some identity theft schemes and attacks are not obvious and may not even be the result of your actions.
Oftentimes, hackers target large businesses and corporations to seize sensitive information from millions of consumers at once. There have been many big-name stores that have fallen victim to cyber-attacks, like Target and Walmart.
There are other types of identity theft schemes out there. Your information could be compromised in the following situations:
- Downloading malware
- Using unsecured wireless networks
- Falling for phishing emails
- Sharing your passwords
Finding a few ways to prevent identity theft can help reduce your chances of becoming a victim. Some instances of identity theft result in minor inconveniences, like changing your passwords or getting a new debit card.
However, some cases of identity theft are far worse. If your Social Security number or banking information is compromised, you may need to pay hundreds – even thousands – of dollars just to resolve the situation.
Want to get identity theft protection or learn how to protect your information? Continue reading the next slide.