If you are an adult and want to enjoy a solid and secure financial future, you absolutely need to have a good credit score. It’s easy to become complacent and forget about the thread of identity theft and the need to protect your identity. In the blink of an eye your good credit rating can be destroyed by an identity thief who gets a hold of your social security number, credit card or drivers licence number. Luckily, if you follow this advice, you can take five minutes to boost your identity theft protection rating.

Identity-Theft-And-Credit-CardCheck your score often: First and foremost, to avoid issues, you will want to check your score weekly. While this might seem like overkill, it’s an excellent way to watch your score and avoid any issues as you can discover problems before they get out of hand. At minimum, if you watch your score all the time, you can catch unauthorized charges and contact your issuer. On the other hand, if you don’t take the time to watch everything, you may be in for a world of hurt when someone opens new cards in your name or takes it to the next level. Since you are only liable for the first 50 dollars of fraudulent charges, this is a wise first step to take. However, if you do nothing, you can be on the hook for a lot more in the future. With so many free and inexpensive services, you don’t really have an excuse as you can check your activity all the time.

Watch your bank accounts and credit card accounts: Just as importantly, if you want to monitor your situation, you will want to watch your bank and credit card accounts. Think about it, the minute someone accesses these accounts, he or she can withdraw thousands of dollars or rack up plenty of charges. When this happens, you are on the hook. While true, if you report this, you are going to minimize your liability. Since it’s easy to check your accounts online and through your smartphone, you have no excuse, and you must check your bank and credit card accounts often.

Check your free credit reports: Now, if you want to stay on top of any potential issues, you will want to frequently check your free credit reports. Since there are multiple companies offering this, you should not have any issue in finding your credit report without spending any money. AnnualCreditReport.com is the one site you can get a free credit report from all three credit bureaus at no cost.   Then, when staying on top of this, you won’t need to worry about any nasty surprises. Ideally, if you have the time, you should check out a few free services as they may vary. That way, when you check your reports, you are sure to get the most up-to-date and accurate information. Remember, with information on your side, you are unlikely to watch as someone opens up dozens of accounts in your name.

With this five-minute investment of time, you can ensure that nobody steals your identity and takes advantage of your good name and credit score. Simply put, with this proactive approach, you will avoid most common issues that other consumers routinely face.