Increasingly important in this day and age, here are some ways to fight the scourge of identity theft. Check your annual credit report for suspect activity. Only about 25 percent of the population does it — and it’s free. Also, keep on top of Trans Union, Equifax and Experion by initiating a security freeze… for those over 65, or past identity theft victims, it is generally free.
A fraud alert is always free. It indicates who might be opening an account in your name, and the provider is supposed to verify your identity with you personally.
Of course, locking your mail box, a simple precaution, is calculated to be used by less than half of us. It will generally prevent crooks from going through your unattended mail. The cost of a good lock is nominal.
Also, look at a prepaid debit card, which will limit any losses. Some recommended companies in this area are Amex’s Serve and Bluebird and Walmart’s company card.
Also, keep in mind external storage for backup of important files. Portable, encryption-enabled USB thumb drives are $5 and up. And definitely do not forget free monitoring, which many credit card companies and banks provide against suspicious activity… check out Credit Karma.
Lastly, make sure you have good virus protection. Peruse Malwarebytes, Panda Free, AVG, Avast and Bitdefender. These are basic packages for protection software.