Article: Use Google Alerts as an Identity Theft Watchdog [Security]

Use Google Alerts as an Identity Theft Watchdog [Security]
http://lifehacker.com/5879922/use-google-alerts-as-an-identity-theft-personal-watchdog


Use Google Alerts as an Identity Theft WatchdogGoogle Alerts can be a great tool for monitoring any search term you care about—including your own name and other personal information. This means you can use Google Alerts to regularly check if a thief is using your info anywhere online.

We’ve suggested setting up Google Alerts before to monitor your name, but more for common ego search purposes. Here, WikiHow recommends adding alerts not just for your name, but other key personal information that identity thieves go after, such as your phone number and address. Any time Google finds this posted somewhere, Google will email you and then you can act on it.

The article suggests adding date of birth, drivers license, and license plate, but I think I would just stick with name, address and phone number. Date of birth may result in too many hits, and you might not want to add drivers license and license plate for the same reasons you don’t want to add alerts for social security number, credit card numbers, bank account numbers or mother’s maiden name:

Because your search history is saved, and Google alerts are sent to your email address, you can inadvertently expose information you want to keep private using these techniques if someone were to access your email.

Stolen drivers license numbers is one of the major ways ID theft happens.

Using Google Alerts might not be as robust as dedicated identity monitoring services, which crawl forums where identities are sold and look through data recovered from criminal databases (for that see AllClearID which has a free option) nor does it monitor for credit card fraud (for that see free Credit Karma), but it is free and easy to use.

Set up your Google Alerts here. I’d recommend result type to be everything, as-it-happens, and all results.

How to Watch for Identity Theft Using Google Alerts | WikiHow


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