Identity theft is way more serious than the movies would lead you to believe. Sure, it may seem like something that could never happen to you, or that even if it did, it wouldn't be that serious - but you're wrong. The recovery process for this type of crime can be extremely lengthy and require a lot of effort in order to set things back to the way that they were before the theft occurred. Listed below are some of the most simple and effective steps that you can take in order to protect yourself thoroughly, decreasing the likelihood that you'll become a victim.
- Utilize outside help. Whether you choose an identity monitor or a service that monitors credit, chances are that with constant and comprehensive monitoring of your account, you'll be much more likely to catch thieves when they are present. Rather than requiring you to be everywhere at once, these services do the hard work for you, thanks to the companies that work diligently to create and support them.
- Change your passwords often. While this may seem like a bother, it's actually much less work than trying to recover a bunch of stolen money or sort out the fact that someone else was using your Social Security or identifying information to get a job or buy a home. Password changes take only a few seconds, and they increase the strength of the barrier between your most personal and private information and the thieves that are trying desperately to get ahold of it.
- Don't be open with personal information. This stretches far beyond speaking in person, it pertains to the things that you broadcast on blogs, social media pages, and even through emails. The fewer people that know intimate details about you and your routine, the better. Having less information available to the public means that it is less likely to be compromised in any manner.
- Keep track of everything. While it's impossible to be everywhere at once, or check on every single account and piece of information on a daily basis, it's good to have a general idea as to where you stand in order to better gauge where things should be at. You may not know the balances of your accounts to the cent, but if you're aware of large transactions and regular changes, you're more likely to see if something looks or feels wrong. Knowing this type of information can help to keep you one or more steps ahead of the thieves.