6 Strategies To Protect Your Identity

by Lauren Beichner

Marketing Specialist

Member Tips

What Is Identity Theft & How Common Is It?

Identity theft is a crime in which another person steals your personal information to commit fraud. Fraudsters may steal personal information such as a person's social security number, account numbers, or credit card information. 

1 in 20 Americans are affected by identity theft every year - image

Learn More About Identity Protection


Every year, millions of U.S. residents report that their identity has been stolen and used for various types of fraud. In fact, identity theft affects about 1 in 20 American each year.1

How Do I Protect My Identity?

You may be wondering, how do I protect my identity? The first step to preventing your information from being taken advantage of is taking a proactive approach to protecting yourself. Follow these six strategies to avoid identity theft and protect yourself from fraud.

1. Monitor your credit reports and scores

You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus a year. Make sure you check your report every year to see if it has dropped indicating any suspicious activity. 

2. Monitor your financial statements

Review financial transactions carefully and if you notice any unsual account activity, contact your financial institution immediately. 

3. Practice password safety

Log into your email and online banking accounts regularly and change your passwords every few months. Remember to use strong passwords that are difficult to guess. 

4. Be cautious online

Do not click on links or download files from unknown or suspicious senders. Try not to use public Wi-Fi to receive or send sensitive documents or access online bank accounts.

5. Secure your documents

Keep your sensitive information in a safe place. Don’t carry your Social Security card with you. Remember to shred sensitive documents once you no longer need them; do not discard or recycle them.

6. Be aware of your surroundings.

Cover the ATM keypad when entering your PIN and keep an eye out for “shoulder surfers” in public spaces who may be watching you key in your phone’s passcode or your credit card information.

Coastal's Commitment To Keeping Your Information Safe & Secure

At Coastal, we know that peace of mind comes from knowing we have your back, which is why we make your security our highest priority. We have a variety of fraud prevention tools to help keep your information safe and secure at all times.

Check Out Coastal's Security Commitment


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1. According to https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/how-common-is-identity-theft/, 2021.