Be Proactive in Protecting against Identity Theft

Category: Personal Insurance

In the Information Age, it has become more important than ever to be proactive in protecting your identity against theft. Even minor identity theft can leave you feeling violated, can cost a great deal of money and can harm your credit rating. Protecting yourself against identity theft is very important, no matter your income or demographic.

Key Tips to Combatting Identity Theft

Following several simple safety tips can help you avoid the cost and harm of identity theft. These tips include:

  • Be careful what you carry: If possible, never carry your social security card or PIN numbers in your wallet or purse.
  • Review your credit score: You have the right to request a free copy of your credit score from all three credit bureaus each year. Be sure to do so and carefully review your report. Any information that seems erroneous should be instantly reported.
  • Check credit card and bank statements: It can be tempting to simply discard credit cards or bank statements immediately upon their arrival in your mailbox, especially if they reference an account you rarely use. Checking these statements is important, however, as you may discover fraudulent use of your card, and can freeze the account before further damage is done.
  • Take care when offering personal information: Offering your personal information over the phone or on the internet is dangerous. Never offer this key information unless you are on a secured network or on a site that you are very familiar with.
  • Be wary of email and internet scams: Never reply to suspicious emails or click on links offering deals that are too good to be true. Scammers and identity thieves often use these tactics to obtain funds or key personal information illegally.
  • Shred personal information: Any documents containing personal information like PIN numbers or account numbers should be destroyed as thoroughly as possible. Thieves may target the trash of certain areas to scavenge for key information.
  • Be diligent for your loved ones: Elderly individuals are often targeted for scams and identity theft. Take an active role in your loved one’s financial situation and be wary of those seeking their funds.
  • Consider cyber insurance: If you own a business or commonly conduct transactions online, you may wish to explore the protection offered by cyber insurance. Cyber insurance protects against damages caused by identity theft or cyber intrusion into your system.

Do you follow any other identity theft prevention tips? Offer your advice with your Long Island neighbors in the comments section below.

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