Are You Doing Enough to Avoid Identity Theft?

Are You Doing Enough to Avoid Identity Theft?

January 8, 2018         Written By Bill Hardekopf

There are over 15 million identity theft victims in the United States annually, and that number has progressively increased over the last few years. A new study from McAfee shows 61% of Americans are “more concerned about cybersecurity than they were five years ago,” but are they taking the steps necessary to fix the problem?

Most survey respondents made some attempt to protect themselves from identity theft: 67% check their credit card and bank accounts frequently for unauthorized transactions, 43% check their social media accounts for posts they did not make, and 37% use credit monitoring services. Those actions are mostly reactive, not proactive.

Featured Fair Credit Card

Top Features:

All credit types welcome to apply!

Here are some tips to prevent identity theft from happening altogether:

  • Limit the number of people who have access to your financial accounts.
  • Use unique passwords for mobile banking, online money management tools, emails and social media accounts. If you are given a default password when you sign up for an account, change it right away.
  • Teach your children how to safely use the Internet, and check their devices frequently to look for inappropriate activity (talking to a stranger online, visiting unapproved websites, etc.).
  • Turn on fraud protection services for your credit card or debit card, if necessary. Most card issuers have fraud prevention solutions in place automatically, but some offer additional protection as an opt-in service.
  • Research products and merchants before making a purchase, and only work with businesses you know you can trust.
  • Do not click on email links from addresses you do not recognize. If you need to check your account, go directly to the website rather than following a link in any email. The email could be from a phishing site trying to steal your login data.
  • Change your passwords every few months, especially after a threat to your account (data breach, lost card, etc.).

You may also enroll in identity theft protection to further protect your personal data. This service will not prevent identity theft per se, but it will alert you as soon as there is suspicious activity on your financial accounts or credit history. By taking action right away, you can avoid long-term repercussions of identity theft.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of January 8, 2018. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and LowCards.com may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.

Review LowCards.com Editor’s Top Cards!

2020 Top Credit Cards by Category
Featured Fair Credit Card
Reflex Mastercard® Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
Featured Fair Credit Card
Reflex Mastercard® Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: All credit types welcome to apply!

Featured Low Interest Card
ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard®
EDITOR RATING
Featured Low Interest Card
ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard®

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: No annual fee; $150 statement credit after spending $1,200 in first 90 days; 0% on Purchases for 12 months

Featured Bad Credit Card
First Digital NextGen Mastercard® Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
Featured Bad Credit Card
First Digital NextGen Mastercard® Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: Reports to all three credit bureaus, perfect credit not required for approval

Featured Good Credit Card
Petal® Visa® Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
Featured Good Credit Card
Petal® Visa® Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: No fees whatsoever. No late fee, international fee, annual fee, or any-other-kind-of-fee, fee


bill-hardekopf

About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of LowCards.com and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.