Protect yourself from identity theft
Credit
February 27, 2019

4 Important Ways To Protect Yourself From Theft

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated November 22, 2019

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Theft happens in more than one place. It can happen in your car, at your home and online. So, it’s important to take the necessary steps to protect yourself from theft. You can safeguard your property and your personal information. Here are some effective ways to get it done:

Prevent thieves from breaking in your home by investing in a home security system. You don’t have to use a complicated home security system, either. Instead, use a simple home security system that is easy to install, requires no hard-wiring and provides remote monitoring features from your smartphone. Two examples are Nest Secure or Ring Alarm home security systems. In fact, you can often get a system up and running for under $100, protecting far more than that in valuable belongings.

Leaving shopping bags, backpacks and other valuables in your vehicle in plain sight can tempt thieves to break into your car. Instead, hide any valuables you have in your car. Lock up your belongings in the trunk or glove compartment. You can also hide small items underneath your car seats or floor mats. Consider hiding small valuables in your middle console or attached the visors. Even just a bag left on the passenger seat can be enough for a thief to choose your car instead of someone else’s.

If your purse or car is stolen, you’re susceptible to identity theft. Your personal information is in the wrong hands at that point, and there’s not much you can do about it. So, it’s crucial to take advantage of identity theft protection. Identity theft protection plans, such as the ones provided by LifeLock (read our review), provide extra help against theft. That’s because these monitoring and alert services detect when changes occur on your credit report and notify you via your preferred alert method, including text messaging or email.

Besides providing you with access to your credit score and credit report, identity theft protection often alerts you when your personal information shows up on other sites or records. For instance, you can receive notifications if your personal information appears on black market sites, court records or requests for a change of address. You may also be able to get identity theft protection that includes recovery services and identity theft insurance. To help you decide which service is best for you, we’ve compiled detailed reviews of Lifelock, Experian and IdentityGuard.

Thieves can glance at confidential documents when walking by your desk at work. They can also dig in your garbage and uncover mail that may have your address, phone number or other personal information on it. Instead of throwing hard-copy documents or mail with your personal information in the trash, invest in a shredder so thieves can’t steal your info. If you don’t want to buy a shredder yourself, use one at a local office-supply store to cut up your financial and other important documents and protect your personal information.

Whether it’s identity theft or property theft, theft can be costly and leave you feeling vulnerable or unsafe. But when you take extra measures to protect your property and personal information, you can reduce incidents of theft for better peace of mind.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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