Use Google Alerts As An Identity Theft Watchdog

Use Google Alerts As An Identity Theft Watchdog

Google Alerts can be a great tool for monitoring any search term you care about — including your own name and information. This means you can use Google Alerts to regularly check if a thief is using your info anywhere online.

We’ve suggested setting up Google Alerts before to monitor your name, but more for common ego search purposes. Here, WikiHow recommends adding alerts not just for your name, but other key personal information that identity thieves go after, such as your phone number and address. Any time Google finds this posted somewhere, Google will email you and then you can act on it.

The article suggests adding date of birth, drivers licence and licence plate, but I think I would just stick with name, address and phone number. Date of birth may result in too many hits, and you might not want to add drivers licence and licence plate for the same reasons you don’t want to add alerts for social security number, credit card numbers, bank account numbers or mother’s maiden name:

Because your search history is saved, and Google Alerts are sent to your email address, you can inadvertently expose information you want to keep private using these techniques if someone were to access your email.

Stolen drivers licence numbers is one of the major ways ID theft happens.

Set up your Google Alerts here. I’d recommend result type to be everything, as-it-happens, and all results.

How to Watch for Identity Theft Using Google Alerts [WikiHow]


  • I didn’t know how many hackers were interested in me until I set this up. My inbox gets filled every day. My ISP has threatened a cancellation of my account, but most interesting it seems CSI is the culprit.

  • This is a poorly thought out bit of nonsense.
    So basically i won’t get any warning when credit card companies issue cards in my name to someone else, but Google will tell me if that person blogs about it down to my personal details or makes the news when they come up for sentencing and this is reported on?

Log in to comment on this story!