Protect yourself from Identity Theft, the fastest growing crime in America…
Serious matters bear repeating!
Identity Theft is the fastest growing crime in America. More than likely, if you haven’t already experienced credit card fraud yourself, you know someone who has. Fortunately most reputable credit card issuers have stepped up their fraud protection limiting the cardholder’s liability for fraudulent charges, however that in no way should dispel concerns about identity theft.
There are many forms of ID theft and most can throw your finances into chaos, damage your credit and cost you thousands in fees and effort spent re-establishing your bank accounts, credit accounts, social security and more. That’s why it’s important to take the necessary steps to help prevent Identity Theft from happening to you.
The following is a list of steps you can take to help protect yourself. While this list does not include all of the steps you can take it is meant to serve as a quick list of things to consider if you’ve not already protected yourself.
10 Steps to Protect your Identity:
- Keep personal account information in your home organized and secure.
- Use a locking file cabinet or safe.
- This is especially important if you have in home services such as a cleaning service or contractors working in your home.
- Guard your social security number. Your social security number is the most asked for number when opening accounts.
- Memorize your number and keep your card in a safe or locked file cabinet.
- Carry your card ONLY when necessary.
- Buy a crosscut shredder.
- Shred any documents that you don’t need to keep such as old bank statements, credit card statements and even offers of credit.
- Obtain a copy of your credit report and monitor it often.
- You are entitled to one free credit report each year. Try www.freecreditreport.com.
- There are other fee-based services that can make your credit report available to you throughout the year.
- Avoid using your mailbox to mail bills and other items that contain personal information.
- The red flag on the mailbox used to alert the mail carrier that you wish to mail something, is just as much an alert to identity thieves that there may be valuable personal information in that box there for the taking!
- Many of us are now using on-line banking features and frequent on-line stores on a regular basis.
- Change passwords for on-line accounts and web sites frequently.
- Use a trusted provider for anti-virus and firewall software and update it frequently.
- Avoid leaving your computer on when not in use if it is connected to the Internet.
- Never provide your social security number, personal information or credit card information over the phone unless you trust the company you are providing it to.
- In general, be skeptical of any company who calls you to complete a transaction that you DID NOT initiate.
- Familiarize yourself with personal information security procedures that are used at your place of business, doctor’s office, accountant’s office and any other firm that collects personal information.
- Subscribe to an Identity Theft protection service such as Life Lock and add Identity Theft expense protection to your homeowners policy if possible.
- Many of the Identity Theft Protection endorsements available for homeowners insurance today put you in direct contact with a third party who will guide you through the process of reestablishing your identity in the event you are faced with a loss.
Identity theft expense coverage is available from most homeowners insurance carriers. While this protection will not put money back into your bank account, it will help pay for necessary expenses incurred in the process of reestablishing your accounts and your identity.
Talk to one of our insurance professionals today to learn more about Identity Theft protection or use these email links:
Email to Get More Information – Email to Add it to My Policy