The habits and traits that make you susceptible to identity theft include nearly everyone

If you weren’t affected by the widely publicized data breaches at Home Depot and Target, you may think you don’t need to worry about getting your identity stolen.

That’s not necessarily true.

While having information compromised in a data breach does increase the likelihood of identity theft, certain types of people are also at risk.

Affluent, educated consumers are the most likely to get their identities stolen, according to statistics compiled by Lifelock, the identity theft protection company.

Earning $US100,000 or more a year increases your risk by 51%, and having a four-year college degree leads to a 44% increase.

Students and members of the military are particularly at risk for new account fraud — meaning that thieves will open up accounts in their names, without their knowledge.

Students were 45% more likely to experience this type of fraud, and military personnel had 28% more money stolen on average than civilians.

Major life changes also come with the danger of identity theft. Buying a house, getting married, having a child, starting a new job, or getting divorced can increase your risk.

Your online habits may also be a concern. You’re twice as likely to get your identity stolen if you use public wireless networks, and using three or more social networks (such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) increases your likelihood by 73%.

Regardless of whether or not one of these statistics describes you, there are plenty of free (and easy) ways to protect your identity against potential thieves. Try these tips to prevent fraud for starters, and make sure you’re being proactive before it’s too late.

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