This post brought to you by LifeLock Facebook. All opinions are 100% mine.
Have you or anyone you know been a victim of identity theft? It's far more common than you would think. 11.6 million adults were the victims of identity theft in 2011 with over $18 billion in losses – the average loss per person was just over $1500. Everyone is at risk, but those in households earning over $100K per year are at the greatest risk with 7.4% of all identity fraud crimes.
Even scarier is the number of identity fraud crimes that happen to smart phone users. 6.6% of crimes happen to those using smart phones, including 8.2% of those who "check in" using their phone GPS apps. I'm more than guilty of "checking in", which is really making me rethink how I use my phone. Do you use "LinkedIn"? 10.1% of identity theft has come from users of that platform!
So what can you do to help protect against identity theft? Have you heard of LifeLock? They offer a plethora of services with a small monthly fee.
- Monitor your credit: as well as contact the major credit bureaus on your behalf and help remove your name from mailing lists for preapproved credit offers.
- Scan for identity threats: they also scan for new credit and non-credit applications and address changes, but also we search known criminal websites for illegal selling of your personal information.
- Respond to identity theft: if we detect a change to the contact information on your bank accounts, we'll contact you to help correct the situation fast.
- Track your credit score: We track your monthly TransUnion credit score so you are up to date with any changes. Plus you get annual credit scores for the tri-bureaus.
- Give you a service guarantee to help you through the recovery process.
Let's talk about your passwords. How hack friendly is your password? Did you know that if you only have 6 characters in your passwords with no symbols it only takes a professional hacker .000224 seconds to gain access? Extend it to 10 characters and it takes 20 days. Is this surprising to you? I have to admit, I was pretty shocked by these stats. Because of this, I've already started the process of changing my passwords on bank, e-mail & credit card accounts. Imagine living paycheck to paycheck as so many families do these days and losing EVERYTHING in seconds.
LifeLock's services are invaluable. In this day and age, identity theft can happen to anyone at any time even when you think you have done all the right things to protect yourself. Check out LifeLock on Facebook to learn more and to learn how to sign up for monthly protection for as little as $10 a month.