2014 was a rough year us. Let’s see, I am on my third debit card and my husband is on his 2nd, we are on our second checking account number, cancelled out 3 credit cards and 2 PayPal accounts. Why you ask… Identity Theft and Security Breaches.
I always thought we were really careful when it came to what information we kept online, I mean so much so we still write checks for 98% of our bills. However, what I’ve come to find out (the hard way) is that nowadays, even shopping at a brick and mortar store doesn’t protect you from the threat of identity theft.
If you’ve ever been a victim of identity theft, you will know how violating it is. You seriously feel robbed of privacy and safety. Not to mention the headache that ensues of needing to cancel cards and get new ones and change card information on the various online accounts you may have, etc. It’s just messy and quite frankly annoying.
In the case of my husband and I, we literally got kicked while we were down. After losing $1200 in an identity theft case, where the individual actually changed our credit card billing information to their address in Florida and wired themselves money through our account, we then immediately got hit with the whole Target fiasco and had to cancel all our accounts after someone made a $350 purchase at Target using our card. Either we just got the short end of the stick or identity theft and security breaches are becoming more prevalent and something we need to start proactively protecting ourselves from.
This is where LifeLock comes in. LifeLock is a leading provider of identity theft protection services for consumers. With approximately 3 million LifeLock members, they are committed to providing their consumers peace of mind amidst the growing threat of identity theft.
As a LifeLock member, you receive proactive alerts that scan the financial network to help identify potential threats BEFORE you incur any loss. Their patented alert technology gives you the opportunity to confirm your identity before a new online account is set-up, such as a retail card, auto loan, wireless phone, etc. is opened with your information. If in fact identity theft does occur, LifeLock provides resolution support and a service guarantee.
The LifeLock Wallet™ app is free to everyone with a smartphone, which offers convenient digital wallet management and a lost wallet service to help prevent identity theft and damage.
In light of the Anthem security breach, which could impact as many as 80 million customers, LifeLock is aiming to bring public awareness to identify theft. Studies have show that individuals who receive a data breach notification are four times more likely to become victims of identity theft. LifeLock can help give you the peace of mind against identity fraud in our online world.
In addition to LifeLock, my biggest recommendation to those lucky individuals who haven’t been the victim of identity theft or a security breach, is to get educated on how to protect yourself and to get creative with your passwords. I mean don’t use your birth date, initials any combination of 1-2-3. Be sure to add in special characters (!#@$%) and mix up letters and numbers. Try a free password creator like this one. Also, use different passwords for your various online accounts. If you are wondering how in the world you are going to keep track of these passwords, try a tool like Passpack to keep track of them all!