A Few Easy Steps to Protect Your Identity

(Happy March! Here's a picture of me on St. Patrick's Day a few years back. My friends and I live by the words on that sign. I also just think this photo is hilarious.)

More bad news out of Equifax today: Another 2.4 million identities were compromised. Good gracious, how do we even begin to protect our identities in an age when Roombas are mapping our houses and our smart TVs are spying on us? I'm convinced everyone at Netflix has seen me naked at this point.

There are so many steps you can take to help protect your identity. Here are a few I think are super easy to implement:

Get yourself a shredder. Shred bank documents and statements when you are done with them! If you simply throw them away or recycle them, someone could steal your personal information.

Get yourself a fireproof home safe. Birth certificates, social security cards, marriage licenses, mortgage papers, basically anything that's an important document needs to be stored in a fireproof home safe.

Start using a password manager. A password manager will generate complex passwords and store them safely for you. It's a pretty cool tool, I would strongly recommend you look into this.

Make sure your phone is locked. Your phone pretty much contains all the important details about your life, so lock it for goodness sake. This seems like an easy one. Are there still people walking around with unlocked phones!?

Look out for phishing scams. Usually in email form, a phishing scam might look like it's from a legitimate company. The goal of these campaigns is to convince you to share your personal information with them. Back in the day, elderly and the technically challenged were susceptible to these scams, but now everyone can easily fall victim as they have become increasingly difficult to spot.

Make sure your credit report is accurate. I'd suggest reviewing it once or twice a year. Double check to see if everything on there is legit. If there's something suspicious or fraudulent, it's important you spot it and get it reported as quickly as possible.

Beware of scammers in general. Cover your PIN when you enter it at stores, gas stations, etc. Never give your personal information over the phone. Ask questions, make sure people and companies are on the up and up.

Try to avoid public Wi-Fi. If it's not a secure connection, it's best to stay off of it.

Remember the more personal information you share online (social media!!!) the easier it is for your identity to be stolen.

Best of luck out there. Don't stand naked in front of your smart TV.

Hey! I've got a new book coming out soon! If you haven't read my first one, check it out here!

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