Saturday, October 31, 2015

How to Get Free Identity Theft Protection

free identity theft protection
Identity theft is a serious problem and occurs when someone uses your personal information to commit fraud. Research indicates that millions of consumers are victims of identity theft every single year. Data shows that the numbers are only expected to increase.

Identity thieves typically use personal information to open accounts in other names. The results can be absolutely devastating and can easily take months or years to recover from. The good news is there are ways to get identity theft protection on your own.

The following are free measures you can take to protect against identity theft.

Monitor Your Bank StatementsConsumers can easily check their bank statements online. Be sure to do so regularly so you know exactly how much is coming in and how much is going out. Purchases from unfamiliar companies are typically indications of identity theft. Contact your bank immediately if you notice anything suspicious.

Monitor Your Credit ReportConsumers are legally entitled by law to receive a free copy of their credit report every year from each of the three credit bureaus. What you can do is request one every four months to spread out the number of times you request your reports. Look for any unfamiliar activity such as new accounts or lines of credit that you didn't open. Monitoring your credit report provides protection from identity theft but you will need to contact credit issuers directly for any fraudulent activity.

Protect Your Information OnlineMany of us now do most of our shopping online. But your personal information is still vulnerable to theft. Always use a secure network when making purchases online or when logging into a bank account. Make sure to also clear usernames and passwords especially from a public computer. Another recommendation is to pay with purchases online using a credit card as there is much better fraud protection in place.

Place a Security FreezeA more drastic measure to take that is highly effective to protect against identity theft is to place a security freeze. This prevents anyone from accessing your credit report and extending any form of credit in your name. The fees to place a security freeze depend on your location, but are usually waived if you are already a victim of identity theft. 

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