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Your Complete Guide to Identity Theft Protection
Your Complete Guide to Identity Theft Protection8/13/2019

woman holding head looking down at laptop in outdoor cafeWith the recent breaches at Equifax and Capital One, the threat of Identity Theft is getting more real.

Did you know there were 14.4 million victims of identity theft in 2018? According to Javelin Strategy, each case cost the victim an average of $1,050, and that’s only the dollar cost. When an individual’s identity is stolen, the thief also impacts the victim’s financial health, recovery from which can take years.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent becoming the next victim. Here’s your complete guide to identity theft protection.

1. Monitor your credit

Check your credit score for free on sites like and get a free annual report from each of the credit reporting agencies at Look for sudden hits to your score and suspicious activity on your report and credit card bills.

2. Use multi-factor authentication

When banking online or using any other service utilizing sensitive information, always choose multi-factor authentication for extra protection.

3. Use strong, unique passwords

Never use identical passwords across multiple accounts. Instead, create strong, unique passwords for every login you use.

4. Only use Wi-Fi with a VPN

When using public Wi-Fi (at a doctor's office or hotel for instance), always choose a Virtual Private Network (VPN) instead of your default Wi-Fi settings to keep the device’s sensitive information secure.

5. Block robocalls

Lower the number of robocalls — and the potential scams — that reach your home or mobile phone by adding your number to the Federal Trade Commission’s No Call List at

6. Update your devices

By updating the operating systems for your computer, tablet and phone, you’ll be protected from the most recent security breaches, viruses and hacks.

7. Shred old documents

Some criminals search through trashed papers to get information. That’s why it’s best to shred all documents containing sensitive information as soon as you don’t need them. If you're in California, the statute of limitation for tax records is 4 years.

8. Keep personal information personal

Be super-cautious about sharing sensitive data with strangers — and even with friends. It’s also a good idea to use the strongest privacy and security settings on your social media accounts.

9. Invest in identity theft protection

Services like LifeLock will monitor your personal information online and immediately alert you about any suspicious activity.

Be proactive about protecting your identity and keep your information and your money safe.

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