Unfortunately, your chance of becoming an identity theft victim is increasing significantly each year. In 2015, the FTC reported a 47% increase of identity theft from 2014 — and it was the 2nd most reported complaint. We have compiled a list of things you can do now to help protect yourself and prevent identity theft.

1 . Protect your social security number (SSN). Don’t carry your social security card with you, and only give it out when absolutely necessary.

2. Do not reply to unsolicited requests for personal information such as your name, birthdate, SSN, bank account or credit card numbers — via phone, mail, or online.

3. Shield the keypad when typing your passwords on computers, PIN pads, and ATMs.

4. Before you input any private information or enter your credentials, double check the URL to ensure you’re on the correct website.

5. Shred receipts, pre-approved credit offers, bank account statements, expired credit cards, and anything containing personal information.

6. Create complex passwords using a unique combination of letters, numbers, and characters, and change your passwords every 3-months.

7. Monitor your credit reports from all 3 bureaus every 3 months, and sign up to receive alerts when certain activity is detected on your credit file or the dark web. We recommend our preferred identity theft provider, Identity Force.

Click HERE to learn more and sign-up for a 30-day FREE trial.


If you suspect you’ve been a victim of identity theft, contact your credit monitoring company immediately. If you do not have a membership with a credit monitoring company, then you can visit to download the FTC’s Identity Theft Recovery Guide.


You may need to collect a person’s private information to conduct business, but do you know how to protect it after it is in your care? The FTC recommends you create a sound data plan built on 5 key principles:

  1. TAKE STOCK. Know what personal information you have in your files and on your computers.
  2. SCALE DOWN. Keep only what you need for your business.
  3. LOCK IT. Protect the information that you keep.
  4. PITCH IT. Properly dispose of what you no longer need.
  5. PLAN AHEAD. Create a plan to respond to security incidents.