We have all heard stories about people who have had their identity stolen. Recently we have been hearing more from companies who make comment that their systems were hacked and large numbers of people’s information was stolen.
With online shopping and identity theft becoming more commonly heard of, people have been looking for more ways to protect themselves. And according to many publications, they should be!
Identity theft typically occurs when someone’s stolen information is used to apply for loans, credit cards, mortgages, or to access bank accounts. This information is typically obtained from lost or stolen wallets, check books, credit cards, or (and becoming more likely) personal information stored online.
We at Southern Colorado Insurance Center focus on Risk Management and want to make sure you know ways to help protect yourself from identity theft. There are a few ways to make things much harder for anyone to gain access to your personal information:
Don’t carry your information around in your purse or wallet. Only carry what you absolutely need.
Apply passwords to as many things as possible. This includes things that you may not think of like accounts, online information, and niche websites (grocery store sites, specialty retail, etc.).
Try to avoid using passwords that may be easy to figure out. Avoid things like maiden names, pets, last names, common phrases, and birth dates. ALSO do not use the same password on all of your accounts! This may make it harder for you to remember all of them but writing them down and storing it in a safe place (like a safe) will make it easier for YOU!
Be cautious with credit card use. Try to cover as much of it as you can while holding it in your hand. Always take the receipts with you and shred once archived. Only shop online with trusted, protected sites. If you are not sure if a website protects your information, don’t use it!
Invest in a shredder. Shredding documents with any personal information, even just your name and address, will help to protect your identity.
We have all heard this one before but it still is the number 1 rule: Never give out your personal information to anyone!
Some companies are offering identity protection insurance with the purchase of some insurance policies and hopefully more will start. If you have any other questions on Identity Protection Insurance, ways to help yourself stay safe and protected, or any other questions, please contact us at youarefirst [at] scicteam [dot] com or give Debbie a call at (719) 329-4441. To get a quote or learn more about Southern Colorado Insurance Center, visit us at http://www.scicteam.com/.