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Don’t be a statistic. Protect yourself from identity theft.

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Just about every part of our lives is online in some way. That why it’s imperative to safeguard your identity and information. But a look at the numbers shows, most people aren’t being proactive.

Data breaches have become a sad, common occurrence. The amount of available personal information is endless and criminals are taking advantage.

“I think there’s a lot of people that sort of throw their hands up in the air and say, there’s nothing I can do,” said Mike Cetera of Bankrate.com.

A recent study by Bankrate.com revealed that nearly 41 million US adults have had their identity stolen. Breaches are one of the most common ways thieves get your information. According to Identity Theft Resource Center, there have been 763 breaches in the US this year. That included close to 30-million records. And nearly two dozen breaches happened here in Washington.

Here are a few steps to protect yourself.

Check your credit report. Legally you’re allowed one free check per year.

Freeze your credit. This keeps crooks from opening accounts.

Don’t use public Wi-Fi. You never know who could be watching you do your banking.

Avoid the same password for your online accounts.

Cetera recommends downloading a password manager. It will generate unique scrambled passwords for all your accounts.

Click here for your free, annual credit report.

Click here for the list of Washington businesses who reported a breach in 2016.

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