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You hear about it on the news and see the many ads warning about identity theft in your magazines. However, you may think that you are safe from identity theft. If you do, you could be setting yourself up for big trouble. Approximately nine million Americans are victims of identity theft every year, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Identity theft can come in many forms. Many victims do not realize that their identities have been stolen until long after the fact, and this more often than not is once their credit is already ruined. Identity theft can cause devastating impacts on your life, such as being turned down for a job, denied loans on big purchase items, or even to be arrested for crimes that you did not commit.

You may be surprised at how easy it is for credit thieves to get your information. They might pick through your trash looking for bills, steal your credit card numbers when they process your card for a purchase, or lure you to email your information through spam. In fact they may flat out steal the information by stealing your credit card from your purse or calling your bank pretending to be you.

Once a thief has your personal information, it takes little to ruin your credit. They may open new credit cards or run up charges on a current account. The thief could open a phone or utility in your name. They could open a bank account, take out a loan, or get a duplicate ATM card in your name. They may even use your identity to get a driver’s license, government benefits, or even a job.

Even worse, the effects of identity theft can linger on for years. You will have to monitor your financial records closely for months, even years. It can be difficult to get credit companies to eliminate wrongful charges, clear your name, and restore your credit. The longer the identity theft goes unnoticed, the longer it takes to correct the damage.

If you are starting to reconsider your position on identity theft, you should also be aware that there are things that you can do to protect yourself in advance. One company, Lifelock, strives to make this as easy for you as possible.

Lifelock can offer many features that make protecting your credit easier. For starters, they will ask the credit bureaus to set up fraud alerts for you automatically. If there is a hitch, Lifelock will set up these alerts manually. Lifelock will then reset these fraud alerts automatically every 90 days. Lifelock takes all the hassle out of the identity theft protection process, and make sure that it gets done properly and in a timely fashion.

On top of this, Lifelock will get your name off of all those pre-approved credit card and junk mail lists. This is a common way for identity thieves to steal your identity, and it reduces unwanted junk mail. They will also make sure that you receive your free annual credit report from the major credit bureaus without you having to lift a finger.

In the event that your identity does get stolen while you are a Lifelock client, they will offer you the ultimate in credit protection: they will do whatever it takes to restore your identity back to you. They will spend up to $1,000,000 in setting things right. Their guarantee offers you the best credit protection available.

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