7 Easy Tips to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

This is a sponsored post on behalf of LifeLock. Though I was compensated for my time, all opinions are my own.

  We talked before about the damages of identity theft – and the long process that it takes to fix it after someone has stolen your identity. Many people think that credit monitoring is the only step you need to take. Though it’s important, credit monitoring alone won’t protect you from the dangers of identity theft. Studies show that identity theft has increased over recent years – even those that use a credit monitoring system.  Identity theft typically occurs when identity thieves access personal information, like your name or Social Security number (SSN), to commit fraud or other crimes. Some common ways identity thieves access your information include:

• A stolen wallet or credit cards

• Documents or receipts in the trash

• Phone or email scams

• Hacking unsecured computers and wireless networks

Once identity thieves gain access to personal information, they can purchase items on your credit card, open new credit cards, or even file a fraudulent tax return in your name.

Consider these tips to help keep your personal information safe and secure and protect you from identity theft:



1. Create Strong Passwords and Update them Frequently. Remember to create a strong password, by avoiding common or easy-to-guess passwords. Common passwords often include a birth date, a pet’s name, a mother’s maiden name, or a person’s school or work. A safer password usually has some capital letters and at least one numeric or other non-alphabetical character. Make sure to update your passwords frequently, try every 3 months, to keep your passwords safe.

2. Share Sparingly. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter encourage users – to share a significant amount of personal info that can be used to ‘authenticate’ a person’s identity. Make sure not to share personal information online such as your home address, phone number, social, birthdates, or birth place.

3. Keep Sensitive Personal and Financial Documents Safe. Most people store personal and financial information on their computer. If you do, it’s important to protect your computer by installing a firewall, using anti-virus and anti-spyware software, keeping your browser updated, and securing your wireless network. If you are disposing of financial or tax documents, make sure you shred them, and if you are keeping hard copies for your records, store them in a safe location. Never carry around your social security card – and do NOT have it listed on your drivers license, or any other cards that you carry with you on a regular basis.

4. Protect Your Cell Phone. There are great apps available to help you on a day to day basis – you can balance your checkbook, check your bank account balance, even file your taxes. Make sure the apps that you download are from a reputable company and check the ratings and comments to be aware of what the app does and what information it may access on your mobile device. You should also secure your device with a strong password and use your phone’s auto-lock feature to protect personal information.

5. Check Your Credit Report. Your are entitled to one free credit report each year, which is compiled from information from the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Take advantage of the free report in order to catch any errors. If any information has been compromised, set up a fraud alert with the three major credit bureaus to put a security freeze on your files and information.

6. Don’t Fall for Phishing Scams. The email scams  can come from a party claiming to be a trustworthy entity, (e.g., your bank) asking you to click on a link and confirm personal details including address, account numbers, or even your SSN. Trustworthy companies would never ask you to provide personal or sensitive information without first signing into your account behind a secure firewall. The IRS in particular will never communicate or request personal information via unsolicited email. Do not open or forward emails claiming to be from the IRS—forward them to phishing@irs.gov.

7. Invest in LifeLock Protection LifeLock’s monitoring services relentlessly protect your credit and personal information from identity theft and fraud, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Their services offer proactive identity theft protection and credit monitoring using innovative technologies that power not only LifeLock, but also the world’s most sophisticated surveillance solutions – similar to the technology employed by government intelligence agencies and blue-chip corporations.

More than just a credit and identity theft monitoring service, LifeLock dives deep to discover the schemes today’s thieves are using to steal personal information, from old-school collection techniques to sophisticated technologies. We continuously monitor vulnerable information for threats, alert you when we determine a risk, and work to help educate law enforcement to combat this growing trend. We also offer LifeLock Command Center™ service, an additional Identity Theft Protection plan.

All in a Days Work readers can save 10% off  with promo code “LifeLockSafety”



If you believe your identity has been stolen, it is important to put a hold on bank and credit accounts, change commonly used passwords, and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Providing the FTC with an overview of what information has been compromised allows them to build a case for any wrongdoing. Unfortunately, the FTC cannot get back any money lost, but can help safeguard against further fraudulent activity and conduct an investigation into any hacked information.

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51 Responses to 7 Easy Tips to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

  1. This is all so true! We had a breach in our bank account with a debit card. Scary times until things got worked out.

  2. Great tips! Protecting from identity theft is so important!

  3. Amanda says:

    These are great tips! It’s really hard and frustrating trying to fix a stolen identity!

  4. I really do worry about identity theft. I use my debit card for everything!

  5. gaynycdad says:

    I had Lifelock for a year. The problem with me having credit cards stolen is the time it takes to replace the number on all my automatic payments! Yes, that’s how I pay everything, I want the miles!

  6. Liz Mays says:

    I use complicated passwords, but I probably should change them once a month. I do have LifeLock though, so there’s that!

  7. Kay Adeola says:

    Great tips.You can never be too careful with identity theft i was just watching something on TV about it this morning.Sometimes people fall for the simplest things.

  8. you do have to be super careful with your identity. as in you can’t ever be too careful!

  9. We desperately need a shredder. I’m getting tired of hacking all our mail with scissors!

  10. Elizabeth says:

    This makes me think of the movie when she’s buying all the crazy stuff under his name. But it’s so true and easy to have happen to you in this day! These are great reminders of how to keep our information safe.

  11. Jaime says:

    Such great tips. My passwords are so difficult, that I sometimes have a hard time remembering them!

  12. Identity theft is very scary, scary because it can happen to anyone. Identity Theft sounds like a great way to stay protected.

  13. Debra says:

    I try to check my credit report every 3 months to make sure nothing fishy is going on. I also automatically delete any emails that i don’t recognize or are scams about getting money!

  14. Melinda says:

    we’re pretty diligent about shredding and disposing of docs in a secure manner but you never know. Lifelock looks like a great program

  15. Jessica says:

    I had my identity stolen about 5 years ago when I was visiting my husband in Texas while he was in the military. I don’t know how they did it but they managed to get all of my information and I didn’t even know about it until about a year ago. I am STILL cleaning up that mess to this day. HORRIBLE 🙁

  16. I’ve had issues with identity theft. It is not fun. My husband has issues with his ex wife so we purchased LifeLock a few months ago.

  17. Courtney says:

    SUCH good information! It’s so important to be viligant and to have protection is a great idea.

  18. Thanks for these great tips! identity theft is the worst.

  19. Debbie Denny says:

    Been hearing some about Life Lock. Sounds like something people should consider.

  20. I keep seeing more and more about identify theft. It is like the universe is trying to tell me something.

  21. Melissa says:

    Great tips. I need to update my password more often.

  22. Being on the computer constantly makes me very nervous. Identity theft is truly a scary thing.

  23. Christie says:

    Great tips, thank you! I forget about protecting my phone sometimes, my lifeline!

  24. Bekki says:

    Boy you hit the nail on the head with the ideas in your post. There are plenty up there I need to work on especially when it comes to social networks

  25. I thought I was not going to be one who got their identity stolen but a co-worker that worked with my a in a payroll department took my social security number. Luckily, it did not impact my credit but I still have my file on all of the information. Not fun!!

  26. Great tips! Too many people wait until it is too late! Being proactive is the best bet!

  27. Kiwi says:

    Identity Theft Is so serious…more serious than people even give thought to. LifeLock is a good company I heard thanks for sharing!

  28. Carly says:

    Great reminders! I need to change all my passwords again!

  29. teresa mccluskey says:

    These are great reminders I am noting them in my calendar!

  30. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Lifelock. We really need to check more into it.

  31. Dawn says:

    It’s hard to be safe with so many crooks around, no matter what you do. Just last week a family member was acting pretty suspicious, trying to get my underage daughter to sign up for a credit card. It just goes to show you, you can’t trust anyone.

  32. Great tips to help keep your identity safe! It’s scary how easy it is to have your data compromised and have a huge mess on your hands.

  33. Felicia says:

    Creating strong passwords is something that has been hard for me in the past. But, I am learning to get more creative!

  34. It is so important to check your credit report at least yearly. You never know what you may find!

  35. I remember when identity theft was only for celebrities. Now it can be anyone.

  36. Rosey says:

    It’s so hard to be careful. Every tip helps, and I am happy to read about them.

  37. We make sure to have strong passwords and change them quite often. It annoys my husband but it protects our money so I’m happy 🙂

  38. I hope this never happens to me, but I’ve had friends that have gone through identity theft. Thanks for the tips!!!

  39. Pam says:

    We have LifeLock and it is well worth the money. So far so good and I love getting their email alerts about a variety of things.

  40. Ashley M says:

    Great tips! Identity theft is all too common these days and can wreak havoc on your life.

  41. Tonia says:

    I have gotten so many phishing emails. They’re so obvious, but it’s sad that someone falls for them every time.

  42. Love the tips! We love LifeLock, it’s just a GREAT thing to have!

  43. Alissa says:

    Identity theft is becoming so much more common, which is disturbing. I’ll have to look into LifeLock to help us protect ourselves online. Thanks for sharing!

  44. Great tips.I think everyone could take a few more steps to keep our identity in check.

  45. Christina S says:

    These are great tips! Everyone should be careful these days.

  46. Amanda says:

    These are great tips! I had my identity stolen a few years ago and it was a mess t clean up!

  47. Wow, very good tips. I had Identity theft with my PayPal card, was really lucky to get all my money back and a bit of schooling on it.

  48. These are good tips to protet one from identity theft. Identity theft is a real and growing problemin th US.

  49. Roslyn says:

    My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was entirely right.
    This post actually made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent
    for this info! Thanks!

  50. Jennifer B says:

    Thanks for sharing your tips! People don’t really pay enough attention to this.

  51. Those are some great tips. Maybe if hubby had done most of that he wouldn’t have gotten his identity stolen. He might need to read this post for himself.

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