Identity Theft Insurance
Identity Theft: A Very Real Risk
Identity Theft (aka identity fraud), is defined as the misappropriation of one’s personal identity information in order to obtain something fraudulently, such as:
- The acquisition of credit from lending institutions or retail establishments
- Stealing funds from a victim’s existing accounts
- Establish accounts under the victims’ name (utility company, phone, etc.)
- Rent a home or apartment
- Obtain employment
Identity thieves have become savvier and their illegal use of technologies continues to increase, making identity theft a $16 billion industry in 2014. In fact, 2014 marked the 15th consecutive year that identity theft topped the Federal Trade Commission’s national ranking of consumer complaints.
Is there a way I can guarantee this won’t happen to me?
Entire industries have been born in the pursuit of protecting society from identity theft. Unfortunately, there’s no bulletproof solution and no way to protect you from every conceivable risk. However, you can reduce your risks by taking a few precautionary measures:
- Shred documents that you discard containing personal information, including credit card numbers, bank account numbers, social security numbers and any other identifying information.
- Secure your social security number. This means leaving your social security card at home and don’t write the number on your checks or other documents.
- Ignore unsolicited requests. Never give your personal info to anyone you don’t know for any reason.
- Watch out for “shoulder surfers”. These are individuals who steal your PIN number by watching over your shoulder at an ATM or while you’re typing a password on your keyboard.
- Collect your mail promptly. And be sure to put your mail on hold when you’re away from home.
- Install firewalls and virus-detection software on your home computer.
- Create complex passwords that are difficult to guess. If a company you deal with suffers a database breach, change your passwords immediately.