The best identity theft protection is prevention.
There are many ways that you can protect yourself against this threat by safeguarding your information, your personal documents, and your personal computer.
Not only does identity theft rob you of your most valuable asset (your identity!), it can rob you of valuable time and resources as you straighten out the disasters left behind by the criminal who robbed you.
Selecting the best identity theft protection insurance is not easy. This is because there is so much competition and product solutions offered. Recognizing this fact is the first step in getting your protection decision right.
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The best identity theft protection for your computer is installing anti-virus and anti-spyware software, as well as making sure your firewall is turned on.
You should always use caution when entering personal information online (such as online shopping). Make sure the padlock symbol is on the screen before you proceed. Never leave your usernames and passwords lying around where others can see them.
You might also consider purchasing identity theft insurance to defray the costs and hassles that will arise should your identity be stolen. (Sometimes even the best protective measures cannot keep the most determined criminals out.)
The best identity theft protection for your home and office is to keep personal documents and legal papers safely locked up.
If you have an office with a door, lock it when you leave (this protects the confidential information of others with whom you share a business relationship).
If you don’t need documents anymore, shred them. Don’t just rip them in half and throw them away, completely shred them. Never leave your credit card out or any other type of identification card.
Another way to protect yourself is to use credit monitoring. Identity theft can wreck your credit score. The three major credit bureaus in the United States offer this service for approximately $15 per month. For this fee, they will notify you of changes to your credit file.
Other typical services include monitoring internet sites for your personal information and alerts to other types of suspicious activity. Your bank may also offer similar services for a small charge.
Remember, the best identity protection is being proactive to prevent damage before it occurs — and while using basic good judgment will help, going the extra mile with protective services are well worth the effort.
Whether it is installing protective software, enrolling in monitoring services with your bank or credit bureau, purchasing identity theft insurance, or simply making your document storage area more secure, prevention will go a long way in protecting your most valuable asset—your identity.
Do you have great stories or tips for the best identity theft prevetion? Share it!