Identity theft in the U.S. continues to be a problematic issue with as many as 16.7 million people being victimized each year. The first step to avoid becoming a target is to realize how prevalent identity theft is and then take action to safeguard your personal information. Start your year off right by learning how you can protect your identity; after all, it’s the only one you have.
Getting Victimized Can Be Costly
When cleaning out your home to move, you threw out tons of paperwork including old bills, receipts, and mail from your home office in a concentrated effort not to move clutter from your current home to the new one. However, a month later, you learn that several credit cards have been opened in your name (without your knowledge) and you then realize you have just become the next identity theft victim.
Because you never imagined this happening, you have no idea what to do next in an effort to regain your identity/finances and restore all of your stolen information. Because you failed to secure Identity Fraud Coverage on your N.C. homeowners insurance policy, you will be responsible for the hefty costs to restore your identity. Keep in mind that this coverage can be added to your homeowners insurance policy for as little as $25 per year.
Protect What Is Yours!
Regardless of where or who you are, identity theft is happening all around, so becoming aware of your surroundings and exercising caution when it comes to your all of your personal information is crucial. Below are some safety tips to follow in an effort to protect what is yours:
Save all of your important documents/information on a secured backup system- This may include all of your bank account numbers, social security card, passport, credit card numbers, and drivers license number. This way if you detect foul play, you have easy access to all of your important personal information.
Be careful when sharing sensitive information with different types of businesses/people- Find out why they may need it and if you share it on paper, make sure it is filed securely, and if verbally expressed, make sure nobody around can hear your personal information.
Use a different password for online banking than you do for other accounts
Never access your online banking with public Wi-Fi- Public Wi-Fi is not secure and your information could easily be hacked. Sitting at your local coffee shop reviewing your online bank account may seem like a good idea but when the person next to you steals your information, you will be regretful.
Exercise caution when sharing information on social media, especially if your account is public
Preserve your computer- Protecting your information on your computer is crucial so always make sure your malware/antivirus software is current. Also, make sure you routinely back up your computer hard drive so that if your identity has been compromised, you can recover your information in a timely manner. Finally, make sure all of your passwords are strong, unique, and securely stored.
Routinely inspect your credit reports- Sometimes your credit report may contain some errors and without knowing them, could impact your financial reputation. Contemplate investing in a credit monitoring system that immediately alerts or notifies you of any suspicious or unusual activity.
Paramount Insurance Agency understands the importance of your identity protection and the good news is that we can add identity theft protection and fraud coverage to most N.C. homeowners insurance policies. Feel free to contact us TODAY at 866–869-3335 regarding any questions you may have regarding your identity theft concerns or identity protection you may need.