Nothing beats a professional identity theft protection plan when it comes to keeping tabs on your personal information, but if you don’t have room in your budget for this type of service, there’s no need to worry! There are plenty of things you can do to protect your identity that are absolutely free.
Reduce junk mail
Going through your trash is one easy way for identity thieves to get ahold of your information, which is why you should always send junk mail and credit card offers through the shredder. Unfortunately, many of us are up to our eyeballs in junk mail, which means the entire envelope gets tossed in the trash. Who has the time to open all those bits of mail and send them through the shredder!
Instead of wasting your time on useless mail, reduce it so it doesn’t show up in your mailbox in the first place. Check out this website to learn how you can reduce your junk mail, or this one if you want to opt out of preapproved credit card offers.
Be mindful of your passwords
We’ve talked about the importance of creating strong passwords before, but it truly is an easy way for you to protect your personal information online. One tip that we haven’t mentioned yet is to cater your password to each website you use. For example, if your password is ‘Kl72jhi9*,’ which is a very strong password already, add a few characters when using it on a new website. On Facebook, you may add ‘fa’ making your new password ‘Kl72jhi9*fa.’ Your Yahoo email might be ‘Kl72jhi9*ya.’
Wondering how good your password is? Type it into this cool password checker.
Keep your computer safe
Hackers are talented, which means you need to take the extra time to ensure that your computer is safe. It all starts with antivirus software that is able to detect malware installations, spyware, and viruses that might be lurking on your computer.
You should also practice safe browsing techniques. Believe it or not, but identity thieves can track the websites you visit and exactly when you visit them! Here’s what you need to know about safe browsing, according to which browser you’re using:
And of course, don’t forget to check your credit score multiple times a year! Keeping tabs on your identity and credit may take a little time, but it’s well worth it. There’s nothing worse than picking up the pieces after you’ve discovered that you have been victimized by an identity thief!