New Mexico is one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to the vulnerability of its citizens to identify theft, according to a new report by WalletHub.
The state ranked 11th when it came to ID theft vulnerability, scoring low in terms of the number of identity theft complaints per capita, the average loss due to ID theft, and for a lack of policies that could help protect its residents.
Read the full report here.
California was the most vulnerable to online ID theft, while Iowa was the least vulnerable.
WalletHub said it did the study after the massive Equifax breach in which the personal information of 145.5 million Americans was compromised.
So what can you do to protect yourself from identity theft? Here are some tips from WalletHub:
Emphasize Email Security: It’s obviously important to use strong passwords for all financial accounts, but you may not realize how essential it is to focus on email in the course of shoring up such cyber defenses. Your primary email address will likely serve as your username and means of resetting your password on other websites, so if it’s vulnerable, all of your other accounts will be, too. As a result, make sure to use an especially secure password and establish two-step verification for this account.
Sign Up for Credit Monitoring: Credit monitoring is the best way to keep tabs on your credit report, providing peace of mind in the form of alerts about important changes to your file, including potential signs of identity theft. WalletHub offers free monitoring of your TransUnion credit report.
Leverage Account Alerts & Update Contact Info: Setting up online management for all of your financial accounts (e.g., credit cards, loans, Social Security), and keeping your phone number, email address and street address up to date will make them harder for identity thieves to hijack. Establishing alerts for changes to your contact info and other suspicious account activity will serve as a safeguard.
Use Common Sense Online: Don’t open emails you don’t recognize. Don’t download files from untrustworthy sources. Don’t send account numbers and passwords via email or messenger applications. And don’t enter financial or personal information into websites that lack the “https” prefix in their URLs.