If you shop at any of the retailers implicated in recent data breaches, such as Target, Neiman Marcus and now, possibly, Michaels, you may wonder what you can do to protect your identity. One of the first steps that experts advise is to cancel your old debit or credit cards and obtain new ones. Also, a prudent step would be to change your PIN numbers and passwords for your accounts as soon as you are made aware of any possible threat or incursion to your identity. Daily monitoring of these same accounts and monthly examination of your statements is also a key part of identifying fraudulent activity. If you find any such activity, reach out to your card companies immediately, in person or over the phone, and in writing. Some retailers that have allowed unauthorized access to credit and debit cardholders’ personal information may offer “free” credit monitoring. Consumers should read carefully all terms and conditions associated with any credit monitoring offer, and make certain that when the “free” use period expires, they are not charged fees for continued monitoring. Also, be mindful that even consumers who have used the free credit monitoring, have still experienced subsequent identity theft incidents.