7 Smart Moves to Prevent Identity Theft

Data breaches got you worried?

Hacker using laptop. Hacking the Internet.
(Image credit: scyther5)

Data breaches got you worried? We don’t blame you. Hacking is on the rise. Last year, hacking incidents exposed 160 million records, compared with 3.7 million in 2010, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center, which tracks U.S. data breaches.

There’s not much you can do to guard your personal data when it’s in the hands of businesses or the government. But you can take steps to protect your identity in the areas under your control. We asked experts for their best advice on preventing identity theft and compiled their top recommendations. The tips are presented roughly in descending order of how severe the damage would be if an ID thief gained access to the information.


KIPLINGER WEBINAR: Combating Identity Theft and Scams During the Holidays (opens in new tab)


Lisa Gerstner
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Lisa has spent more than15 years with Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and heads up the magazine’s annual rankings of the best banks, best rewards credit cards, and financial-services firms with the best customer service. She reports on a variety of other topics, too, from retirement to health care to money concerns for millennials. She has shared her expertise as a guest on the Today Show, CNN, Fox, NPR, Cheddar and many other media outlets around the nation. Lisa graduated from Ball State University and received the school’s “Graduate of the Last Decade” award in 2014. A military spouse, she has moved around the U.S. and currently lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons.