Having your identity stolen is no longer a terrible possibility — it’s a virtual certainty. Data breaches, whether due to careless security practices, or concerted attacks by hackers, are on the rise throughout the world, and even some of the biggest healthcare providers, financial institutions, and retail chains have been successfully targeted. Whether that pilfered information leads to full-blown impersonation is a matter of chance, and degree. Most stolen passwords are used to send out spam, an aggravating, ugly result, but nothing that will ruin your credit or siphon funds from your accounts. But as data is sold and resold, and the breaches become more common, the odds of having your life well and truly hijacked are going up. Here’s a beginner’s guide to recovering a stolen identity.
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