- Stop using simple passwords. The more complicated a password is, the less likely it is to be guessed by a thief, giving them full access to your most personal information.
- Change these passwords often. Like stated above, when changed frequently, passwords are more difficult to guess.... and when changed to something complicated and hard to guess, this becomes even more true.
- Don't give information to strangers. This goes for in person and online. Many people are quick to pass out personal information over the phone or through the mail, especially when the feel the contact is someone legitimate. When online, validating the legitimacy of email senders, websites and friends on social media is imperative to keeping your information from falling into the wrong hands.
- Choose a monitoring service that will meet your needs. Although this option will cost you money in most cases, it is worth it. These services are coded to be effective, thorough and constant, meaning that at no time will the stop looking through your provided information unless you tell them to.
- Be vigilant. Checking your accounts and information often can be a great way to catch on to the activities of thieves, especially when it comes to finances. Things can change quickly when it comes to bank and credit card accounts, so waiting long periods of time between perusing your history is a definite mistake. If using a monitoring service, the results are conveniently sent straight to you, meaning that there will be even less work involved in this activity.
- Understand what you're trying to prevent. Having a greater understanding of what identity theft is all about and what the thieves are tying to accomplish will not only educate you about the situation that you could eventually face, but it can also make it seem more imperative to choose some form of protection, as this can definitely help in the long run. There is a great deal of information about identity theft, thieves and their victims online... use your available resources.
While effective, these tips cannot stop thieves from stealing information or money in the first place. They can be used and practiced by a wide variety of people, but will be most effective depending on the specific circumstances that they are used under - so what works best for one person or family may work to a different degree for others. Carefully considering all options before choosing one or more of these methods (or something different) is an important step to take, and can result in your information staying safe and much more secure.