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How to protect against identity theft at any life stage

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(BPT) - As Americans, we are privileged to enjoy the many freedoms to live our lives the way we want, as long as we are willing to put in the work. Therefore it’s only right that we have the pleasure to enjoy the rewards. It’s the American dream. Unfortunately, for everything that you earn, there could be someone who wants to take that away from you.

Identity thieves can strike at any stage of your life. However, the more you know, the better prepared you can be to take proactive steps to reduce your risk. For every milestone from graduation to marriage, from buying a new home to joining the military, or even becoming a new parent, identity theft poses a risk. Here’s how people at different life stages could be targeted for identity theft.

To the graduate: Up until now you probably haven’t thought to worry about your credit and have only used your Social Security number when filling out forms at your doctor’s office or on various applications. Even more likely, you’ve left the responsibility of all of this to your parents. But as you’re headed off into the world for the first time and signing up for your first credit card, there is a chance that a thief could be out to steal your good name, be careful who you give your information to.

To the newlyweds: Who knew that changing your last name or adding your spouse to your credit card or bank account would take so much time? After the excitement of the wedding and honeymoon settles down, there is often real work to be done in updating your personal information. Identity thieves know what you need to do to change your information, so they determine weaknesses in security systems in order to get what they want, the puzzle pieces that identify you.

To the homeowners: Congratulations on your new investment. Owning a home is often part of the American dream, but just how many organizations did you have to provide your name, date of birth and Social Security number to in order to complete this transaction? Thieves know that you are often linking your new home purchase to your line of credit and can look for these types of forms to steal pieces of your personal information.

To the servicemen and women: You have made a tremendous sacrifice to protect our great nation, but unfortunately identity thieves can look at your deployment as prime time to target you. You may face an increased risk of identity theft as a result of being away from home for long periods of time and not having access to your mail and accounts, giving the upper hand to thieves.

To the new parents: Sleepless nights are common with new parents. Following the arrival of your new bundle of joy, you most likely applied for a Social Security number for your child in order to include him on your insurance plan and to claim him as a dependent when filing your income taxes. Unfortunately, identity thieves who compromise your child’s identity can cause more sleepless nights down the road. Children can be prime targets for identity thieves because often their identities go unmonitored for years.

Every stage in life deserves to be protected. It’s time to take the power away from the identity thieves and start protecting yourself and your family at every stage of life. LifeLock service, an industry leading identity theft protection solution, works proactively to help protect consumers from the growing threats of identity theft. To learn more, visit www.lifelock.com or www.facebook.com/LifeLock.

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