Identity theft affects millions of Americans each year—here's what you can do to safeguard your personal information.
Advertisement
credit card caught in fishing hook
Credit: Getty Images

Identity theft can be really damaging to your financial well-being and security. According to the FTC, identity theft is when someone steals your personal or financial information and uses it for things such as getting new credit cards in your name, stealing your tax refund, using your health insurance, or making purchases with your credit cards.

In a report released by the FTC called Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, identity theft was the most reported type of theft in 2020—resulting in $3.3 billion in total fraud losses. According to an analysis by Consumer Affairs, the increase in identity theft and fraud might be due to the amount of people working from home, outside of corporate firewalls and protections.

Here is a handy checklist to help protect yourself against identity theft and keep your personal and financial information safe.

Checklist

Source: Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Information