The Best Ways to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft in 2018

17. 6 million people in the United States experienced identity theft in 2014, the Bureau of Justice¹ reports – and today, identity theft is even worse. Year after year, more people fall victim to identity theft.

If identity theft happens to you, it can destroy every aspect of your life from your career to your finances. But you aren’t powerless; you can prevent identity theft before it happens.

You can minimize the risk of losing your hard-earned savings to online thieves. Here’s how you can avoid becoming a victim of identity theft.

Upgrade Your Antivirus Software

No one wants a computer virus – but accidentally downloading a virus onto your computer can have disastrous effects far beyond a broken operating system or inoperable device. One of the major ways identity thieves steal your information is through viruses.

Whether you’re surfing the web or downloading email attachments, the simplest action can lead to a virus. And within minutes, all of your data and your identity are in the hands of criminals. To protect yourself from having your identity stolen from online thieves, you should invest in or upgrade your computer’s antivirus software.

While computers typically come with antivirus software already installed, you can get much better protection with more advanced software. And you don’t have to spend much to upgrade your computer’s security. Here are some of the best antivirus softwares to choose from:

Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus: This antivirus software is extremely light on your computer’s system resources and installation takes just seconds. In addition, it only takes up about 2 MB of your hard drive – and works for PCs and Macs. This antivirus software includes security for your data and identity, ransomware protection, Firewall and network connection monitoring, and more, all for just $20 a year².

F-Secure Antivirus SAFE: One of the easiest antivirus options to use, F-Secure Antivirus SAFE offers a great collection of antivirus tools for $70 per year³. This software includes banking protection, family safety tools, and a device finder that can track lost or stolen Android or iOS devices. Another plus: the interface is easy to use, lightweight, and allows you to solve most issues in a couple clicks.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2018: This software is one of the most trustworthy antivirus protections available. It offers automatic scans, drive-by cryptomining infection prevention, and a simplified security management interface. Kaspersky is your best bet if you need accurate, consistent malware protection at an affordable price – it’s just $30 per year⁴.

Enroll in an Identity Theft Protection Service

If you’re wondering whether or not your information is floating around the internet or if it’s been stolen by criminals, you can know for sure. And you can even be alerted any time there’s an attempt to steal your identity or personal data.

Thanks to the huge increase in identity theft, there’s an entire industry of experts dedicated to protecting individuals’ identities. New identity protection services will actually monitor your identity online and scour the internet for any updates or changes. If your information is found online, or there’s suspicious action, these services will alert you of any possible online theft.

Here are a few identity theft protection services to consider.

ID Watchdog: ID Watchdog is an online protection company that offers proactive monitoring of traditional and non-traditional credit, high-risk transactions, and internet black-market. And this company promises 100 percent identity theft resolution should your information be compromised. The service starts at $180 per year; a premium package will cost you $240 per year⁵.

Identity Fraud: If you’re looking for a more affordable option for online protection, Identity Fraud is your best bet. For $100 per year, Identity Fraud offers a reimbursement insurance of up to $1 million in identity theft protection, ID risk score, Social Security monitoring, card monitoring, unlimited victim assistance, and more⁶.

LifeLock: LifeLock is another affordable option. The company offers a wide range of plans, including a unique service called LifeLock Junior (a system that helps keeps your kids safe online) as well as another plan called LifeLock Senior (to keep those who are 65 years or older safe when browsing the Internet). LifeLock’s plans range anywhere from about $10 per month to $30 per month, and their stolen fund reimbursement range from $24-thousand to $1 million⁷.

Protect Your Online Identity Today

Protecting your identity online isn’t just important. It’s one of the most crucial steps you need to take when considering your risk of theft and loss. If your identity is stolen, it could ruin your life, your credit, and your future.

The only way to stay safe in today’s world of ever-increasing online theft is to take steps to protect your information every time you head online. Whether it’s upgrading your antivirus software or signing up for an identity theft protection service, there are plenty of ways to minimize your risk of becoming a victim of identity theft. The cost of such services is well worth it – paying for preventative measures could end up saving you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Interested in learning more about how you can protect your identity online? Start a search today.

Featured Tip

Considering cutting the cable cord? You aren’t alone. By the start of 2018, 22 million people had already ditched their cable companies according to Variety.