Protect your identity

A few weeks ago, someone sifted through my recycling bin outside. All they took was the junk mail. Most likely, they were trying to steal my identity.

It occured to me that I needed to immediately think about protecting my identity. Here’s my plan:
1. Shred all paperwork and mail with personal information, including account numbers, social security numbers, etc. If you get a pre-approved credit card application, shred it.

2. Sign on with LifeLock. I first heard about this service through a bold ad where the CEO recited his social security number, then proclaimed that he did so because he believed in Lifelock’s ID theft protection services. This is a great service where, for less than one hundred dollars a year, you get protection for up to one million dollars in damages should the system fail. When you sign up, they contact all the bureaus and put alerts on that require a phone confirmation (your home phone or cell) to activate any new credit lines. Lifelock also contacts a variety of direct mail houses to reduce or eliminate all the credit card applications coming to your house.

3. Stop using WiFi when logging into accounts, especially bank accounts. WiFi provides an easy entry for hackers to track your keystrokes and steal your login information. This is especially the case in airports and major cities. Most security software doesn’t provide enough protection for WiFi connections.

I feel much safer now. I’m not going to post my social security number as proof of my newfound confidence, but I feel much safer.

If you have other suggestions for readers, post them in comments.

Check out LifeLock today and spend the extra money to cover your family members too, especially your kids. You don’t want your children getting their credit ruined by an identity thief.