The best way to protect your identity is to freeze your credit and then thaw it with the appropriate credit bureau when a credit check is needed.
If you haven't done this for yourself, your spouse and your dependents, consider doing this to protect your family from identity theft. Yup, this includes your children or any dependent who has a social security number.
Credit bureaus formerly charged minor fees for both freezing and thawing your credit. The 2017 Equifax breach led to much-needed change—a win for Americans. Note that freezing your credit also protects your credit score from those unsolicited credit inquiries.
According to Brian Krebs, this freedom from freeze fees was solidified in the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act of 2018.
For more information, see the Krebs' article at https://krebsonsecurity.com/2018/09/credit-freezes-are-free-let-the-ice-age-begin/https://krebsonsecurity.com/2018/09/credit-freezes-are-free-let-the-ice-age-begin/.