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Around 1 in 15 citizens will face some form of identity theft during any given year. Whether you’ve managed to avoid being part of this statistic or already had your identity stolen, it’s important to take proactive safety measures. Here are some of the more common practices for stopping identity theft in its tracks.
While it’s possible to protect yourself with services like LifeLock or directly through the credit bureaus, there are other proactive measures available that will reduce the likelihood of identity theft. These are a few best practices you should already be engaged in.
If any term could easily describe freezing your credit, it’s “scorched earth.” While this won’t destroy your credit, it will stop its use completely. A credit freeze essentially stops any creditor from looking at your score.
By doing this, no one applying for credit in your name – including yourself – will receive it. You’ll have to contact the bureaus to remove this freeze. You could also utilize a credit lock. This is a less drastic measure which will simply require creditors to check further into your background.
Many of the services provided by LifeLock could be done on your own. This raises the question, though, of whether you really want to freeze your credit, consistently monitor its use or resolve instances of identity theft yourself. LifeLock’s price starts at $9.99 a month, and for many people, the convenience is worth the cost.
You can no doubt perform DIY real-time credit monitoring in real time. thanks to certain websites or financial institutions, but the real issue arises if your identity is stolen. While over 80 percent of victims aren’t held liable for funds stolen, there are still those who do face the financial repercussions. The LifeLock service will reimburse stolen funds and cover your compensation and court costs, if you face any.
Proactively monitoring your own credit or utilizing a service such as LifeLock can go a long way in preventing identity theft. Unfortunately, only the “scorched earth” tactic of a credit freeze can guarantee safety. The important thing is to know all your options. This will help you conclude the best way to protect your identity.