Where would you rank identity theft when it comes to things that worry you in your life?

Some consumers think that identity theft can never enter their lives. As a result, they can be unprepared for it. If it strikes them, it can have devastating effects on their finances and more.

With that in mind, are you taking the appropriate steps to steer clear of identity theft?

Be Cognizant of what is Going on in Your Life

When you take a step back to assess how your finances are doing, should you be wary of any red flags?

Keep in mind that it is always better to be pro-active than reactive when it comes to identity theft.

With that being the case, here are three tips to help you navigate these dangerous waters:

1. Protection plan ā€“ Do you have an identity theft protection plan now? If you said no, it would be worth your time to investigate the different companies offering plans. Whether that means you review Identity Guard plans or many other ones, take the time and effort to do so. In doing this, you can find out which plan best suits your needs. With a plan in place, you have someone watching out for your financial well-being. This means you get alerts when something is not right with one or more of your financial resources. In looking for the right provider, review how long they have been in business. Also, check what kind of customer service track record they have among other things.

2. Shred old documents ā€“ Even with the right plan, there is work on your end with your financial documents. That said do not be the individual leaving old documents sitting around for the world to find. Too many consumers leave around old receipts, bank statements and more. Some consumers also make the gaffe of not shredding such documents when they do in fact go to dispose of them. When you toss them in the garbage without shredding, you leave the door open to possible theft. All a criminal needs is an account number or other pertinent piece of information to go to work on you. Make sure you shred the documents when done with so that they are of no use to any criminals who might come upon them. The last thing you want or need is for them to steal your identity.

3. Loose lips sink ships ā€“ Last, are you someone who is prone to giving out too much personal information? If you said yes, you can leave yourself vulnerable to identity theft. There’s no reason for one minus a significant other to know your financial info. The same holds true with any credit cards you have. If you have children at home going online, remind them of the importance of not divulging any info. Yes, children can be a major target of identity theft thieves, so do not think it canā€™t happen to them.

As you look to steer clear of identity theft, will you come out a winner or loser?