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Here are some great tips from a recent article by Eric Bell, founder and editor-in-chief of YoBucko!

Identity theft and cyber crime are major concerns these days. Modern advances in technology and cyber security are doing a lot to limit the risks you’ll be a victim of identity theft or a hacker, but there are some simple steps you can take today to protect your privacy and prevent identity theft. Here is a list of 5 easy ways you can prevent identity theft and cyber crime in the next 15 minutes.

1.) Get your Free Credit Report

As an American citizen, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus. By getting your credit report, you can make sure there are no outstanding bills or items in your credit history that are fraudulent. It also gives you a chance to check your credit to ensure you don’t have any negative items. But remember, there is only one website where you can get your free credit report and it’s called ANNUALCREDITREPORT.COM. Click here to get your free credit report now.

2.) Opt-Out of Credit Card and Insurance Offers

Do you get a ton of junk mail offering you deals on insurance and credit cards. That’s because the credit bureaus sell your personal information to financial institutions. With this information, the companies get your data, run it through databases and “pre-qualify” you for offers. When they send you offers, they often include a lot of personal information including account information that thieves can use to steal your identity. But there is a website, OPTOUTPRESCREEN.COM, that allows you to remove yourself from these marketing lists permanently. Click here to opt-out now of credit card and insurance offers now.

3.) Create Strong Passwords and Secure Them

Identity thieves and cyber criminals love to steal your online account information, and are always looking for new and better ways to get your data. While you can’t prevent everything, there are some steps you can take to lower the risks. Make sure to create strong passwords for all of your online accounts, and keep them in a secure location. This can get confusing as you change passwords and information though. Fortunately, there is a new, free application called Dashlane that you can use to secure, organize and store your passwords on your computer.

4.) Add your Phone Number to the Do Not Call List

Do you get a bunch of phone calls from solicitors trying to sell you a bunch of stuff you don’t want or trying to get you to donate money? You aren’t alone. I took the battery out of my home phone last week because I couldn’t take it anymore. Fortunately, the FTC has created a way for you to easily add your phone numbers to the Do Not Call Registry. Make sure to add your cell phone numbers too.

5.) Secure your Internet Connection

When you are sitting at Starbucks surfing the internet are you really secure? Not always. Cyber criminals can access your information when you browse the internet on unsecured networks and in shared locations. But there is another great startup called Spotflux that is working to solve the problem. Spotflux is devoted to protecting your digital privacy and security anywhere and on any device. They have a free, powerful application that encrypts your internet traffic and performs real-time calculations to remove tracking cookies and viruses without slowing your device. It’s easy to use and it’s free.

Eric Bell, founder and editor-in-chief of YoBucko!

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