Most websites already require you to change your password several times a year and make it be complex (ie: Uppercase, lowercase, number & special symbol), but for those that don't, it is important you remember to do so. And don't make all your passwords the exact same or be associated to you. This makes it too easy for hackers to guess. A good password would be "Using the first letter of each word in a special phrase, I want to see the Pacific Ocean = Iw2stPO".
2. Check Accounts Regularly
You may already watch your checking and credit card accounts, but watch insurance and investment accounts as well. If you shop online, check those frequently as well. Anything you have entered your credit card or bank account information on, should be checked often. Also see your credit report once a year to check for accuracy.
3. Social Security Number
If someone asks for your Social, be sure they really need it before just handing it out. This is one item that completely identifies you and only you. Never carry it in your purse or wallet as it is too readily available for that purse/wallet snatcher to grab hold of!
Spam mail, virus or legitimate email? It all may be hard to allocate these days. Do not click a link you are skeptical about and never provide personal information via email. Anyone who honestly needs your personal information (ie: bank) will call you personally and never ask for that information over email.
A URL can show a lot. A secure URL will include an "s" in the start: https://. If you are paying an online bill or making a purchase online, do not save the card or account information. This may take longer each time you check-out, but it prevents that information from being stolen if your online account is hacked into.
6. Free Wi-Fi
Many places offer free wi-fi as convenience and to lure your into their location. While not entirely bad on a marketing standpoint, free w-fi means FREE -- anyone can use, open to the public, NO security. Not that you need to be scared of using free wi-fi, just use it with caution. Don't online shop or access your bank accounts while on this network.
While wiping out Identity Theft entirely does not seem plausible, these easy steps can help ensure you've done everything in your power to keep your information secure.
(Summarized article by Teri Cettina & Sue Kraus "Stop That (Identity) Thief!" in Thrivent Magazine)