4 ways to keep identity thieves out of major life events

It seems every day you hear about picking a better password or avoiding suspicious emails to protect your identity. But there are other ways criminals can get your personal information.

Consider major life events like getting married, having children, enlisting in the military, or executing an estate. All of these increase the chance of identity theft. Learn the potential pitfalls so you can better protect your identity — or that of a loved one.

If you choose to change or hyphenate your name after marriage, apply for the name change in person at the social security office; don’t fax or email your personal details. Don’t show pictures of your marriage documents on social media, and store your old social security card in a locked safe or safe-deposit box.

Having a child 
A fraudulent credit report could be building, unnoticed until your child grows up. Don’t give out your kid’s social security number unless absolutely necessary. Ask how schools use and store your child’s personal details, and confirm what is shared via directories or activities.

Military personnel 
You can put an Active Duty Alert on your credit report for free. This lasts a year (with an option to renew) and makes companies verify your identity before granting credit. Plus, you won’t get any pre-approved credit card offers for two years (another way criminals can gain access).

Executing an estate 
If a loved one passes away, send a copy of the death certificate to the credit bureaus to get a deceased alert on credit reports and prevent future fraud. Notify any credit cards, banks, or other financial institutions. Also consider the obituary. Including too many details could give thieves an advantage.

Get help with identity fraud
SECURA MILE-STONE Gold policyholders automatically receive identity theft protection. Contact your independent agent to learn more.