No one is 100% safe from identity theft. Identity theft takes on so many forms that no one can avoid it, not even with a service like LifeLock or any other. There are however simple things you can do to help prevent an identity theft that everyone should follow. These things, by no stretch of the imagination, will prevent all kinds of identity theft, but it will make it harder for the common thief from getting your information and stealing your identity.
First of all, and this should go without saying, you should never carry your Social Security card with you in you wallet. This is a big “NO NO” and should be avoided if you can help it. Sometimes with new jobs and dealing with the government you might need the actual card. This can’t be avoided but make sure when you arrive home the card comes back out of your wallet and into its safe place. Also inquire if the actual card is needed or just a copy. If they only need a photocopy do it at home so you don’t risk transporting it around.
Be aware of card skimming, a very common way of gaining credit and debit card information. When you use an ATM inspect the opening where you put your card to make sure nothing has been placed over it and make sure it doesn’t wiggle or move. If you have any doubts about the machine simply don’t use it. When using your card at a store make sure to watch the person at the counter and what they do with your card. If they move it out of your site or look like they swiped it into a handheld device it might be time to cancel the card and perhaps even inform the authorities.
Keep your computer free of viruses and malware with anti-virus software. There are millions of malicious programs out there. Take precautions by using anti-virus software, and avoid using Peer-to-Peer networks like Limewire and Torrents. Virus and sharing networks are an easy way to get your identity stolen.
Many banks nowadays have SMS text alerts for your bank account. Go to your banks online website and turn them on. Set up alerts that will inform you of large amounts of money leaving your checking account. If more than $200 leaves my account I get a notification of it right away. This will help you discover a breached debit card and help you recover and prevent further damage. Also check your credit card statements often. You have more time to recover lost money with a credit card, but you still want to catch it early.
Keep a list of contact number for all your credit cards and documents you keep in your wallet or purse. Numbers for your bank’s customer service line and numbers for each of your credit card companies and so on. In the event you have your wallet or purse stolen you will have a list of all the numbers to call so you can cancel your cards and also have them reissued. This will keep the time the thief has to use your card at a minimum and reduce the damage done by them. Remember that thieves know that you are going to try and cancel everything before they have a chance to cash in on it, so it’s a race you, literally, can’t afford to loose.
These simple things can help you catch and remediate an identity theft, but if you want to take your protection to a higher level you might want to think about getting a membership with LifeLock. They are the leader in Identity theft protection, giving their members unparalleled features and services. If you really want to protect your identity LifeLock is the way to go and for $10 a month you can’t beat it.