The Best Ways to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft in 2019
Did you know that identity theft is a huge and growing problem? In 2016 alone, more than 15 million people in the United States had their personal data stolen.1 Unfortunately, identity theft is on the rise, as year after year, more people fall victim to it.
Being a victim of identity theft can be devastating, it can destroy every aspect of your life from your career to your finances. But it’s important to know that there are steps you can take to prevent identity theft before it happens.
Protect Yourself by Avoiding Any Suspicious Links
One of the best ways to protect yourself is by identifying suspicious links. According to an article by Medium, sending out links is one of the most practiced ways to steal the identity of users by cybercriminals. The online thieves pull their victims in by sending out links and or attachments that claim to offer some sort of amazing offer, discount, or anything that will make you click on their link.2
Always be wary of any link that is sent to you by an anonymous user as most of the time the link is fraudulent and can steal your personal information. In order to avoid opening any unwanted links, it’s important to invest in a reliable anti-malware program that can scan any document and inform you if the content in the link or attachment is harmful to your computer.
Anti-Malware Programs that Offer Protection
Here are some of the leading antivirus/anti-malware software currently on the market.
Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus
This antivirus software offers one of the best protection software on the market — and it works for both PC and Macs. Considering it only takes up about 2 MB of the hard drive, the system is extremely light on your computer. Plus, the installation takes just seconds.
Don’t risk having your data stolen, this antivirus software will allow you the surf the Internet knowing your data is protected. Included in Webroot AntiVirus are ransomware protection, network connection monitoring, and more. Protect yourself for about $20 a year.3
Norton Anti-Virus Basic
Another high-quality malware software is Norton Anti-Virus Basic. What makes this anti-virus software rank so high is that allows users to tweak the settings to their personal preference and includes a URL blocker which helps detect malicious websites. An added benefit is how easy-to-use the software is as it allows users to easily run scans on demand.
If you’re interested, you can pick up Norton Anti-Virus Basic for only $14.99 per year.4
F-Secure Antivirus SAFE
One of the easiest antivirus options to use, F-Secure Antivirus SAFE offers a wide assortment of antivirus tools for $70 per year for three devices. This software comes banking protection, family safety tools, and a device finder that can track lost or stolen Android or iOS devices. Other advantages of F-Secure includes the interface is easy to use, the software has little to no effect on your computer’s performance, and it allows you to solve most issues in a couple clicks.5
For Extra Protection Enroll in an Identity Theft Protection Service
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 is an online protection company that offers proactive monitoring of traditional and non-traditional credit, high-risk transactions, and the Internet black market. Plus, this company promises 100 percent identity theft resolution should your information be compromised.
The service starts at $180 per year. If you want more protection, a premium package will cost you $240 per year.6
If you’re looking for a more affordable option, IdentityForce is one to consider. For as little as $20 per month, IdentityForce monitors everything from changes to your address to sex offender registries and alerts you on any device if your identity is at risk.7
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 $24,000 to $1 million.8
Protect Your Online Identity Today
It’s important to take the necessary steps to protect your online identity. In fact, it’s never a good idea to think “this will never happen to me.” Actually, identity theft if more common than you think. If you’re a victim of fraud, it can affect your both financially and mentally.
There are so many options out there that will help you protect all the important information you share online. The cost of such services is well worth it since paying for preventative measures could end up saving you hundreds of thousands of dollars.
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.
Interested in learning more about how you can protect your identity online? Start a search today.