SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s Identity Theft Awareness Week, so now is when security experts say you should take steps to better protect yourself.

Massachusetts had the highest number of cases of identity theft reported in the country in 2020. That’s why the expert 22News spoke with said this is something you need to take seriously.

In Springfield, Milagros Johnson, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Consumer Information, said identity theft can impact people of all ages and can have lasting impacts on your life. Johnson said while you can’t completely prevent your identity from being stolen, there are some steps you can take to lower the risk.

“We can monitor our credit report to make sure there’s nothing fraudulent going on,” Johnson said. “And then after we determine our credit reports are accurate and there’s nothing suspicious going on.”

Johnson said that’s a free service available to people. She also said you should take a look at what you have on your social media profile as there might be information that could help a potential hacker. For example, having your mother’s maiden name or the town you were born in are common security questions used to protect your information.