Identity theft has exploded over the last decade with the advent of the Internet and increasingly stealthy methods to gain access to your financial information.  If gone undetected, months if illicit activity could lead to years to financial devastation.  And, because we’re all about keeping our money in check, ain’t nobody got time for that!

Here are some simple, practical tips on how to prevent ID theft:

Monitor your accounts daily. Make an effort to monitor your credit accounts. The reason is that a single case of identity theft could spiral into months of abuse on your accounts. An identity thief could use and re-use your identity credentials. The more instances that your credentials have been used, the more transactions there will be on your credit history that could send your credit score hurtling towards bad credit.

Protect yourself by being vigilant. Gather your mail as soon as you arrive home. Better yet, put your mail where no one else can take it, except for you and your household members. Shred your documents, especially bank and credit card company documents. If you won’t use the pre-approved credit cards that come in, cut them up and shred the letters and envelopes they came with, as well. Mail and trash theft are two of the likely damaging sources of data used in identity theft.

Don’t hesitate to use a credit freeze. You may put a credit freeze on your accounts anytime any suspicious activity has been detected. If you have no need for credit in the next few months or years, this is a good option. If you actively use your credit accounts, use them wisely and sparingly, to avoid being a victim of ID theft.

Guard your credit history. It is among your most important data, whether as a single mom or otherwise. The bad credit effects that you reap when you fail to work on preventing credit scams can make a major blow to your finances and you wouldn’t want that happening to you. So be vigilant and work on protecting yourself and your family!

Joy Mali is an active blogger who is fond of sharing interesting finance related articles to encourage people to manage and protect their finances. She also covers topics on managing bad credit and credit monitoring that can help people manage and protect their credit from theft and fraud.

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