In today’s fast-paced society, we are at a constant exposure for ID theft. We use our credit cards to make purchases on the go and, let’s be honest; we more often lose the receipts than keep up with them. It’s hard to know if that Amazon order was correct or if we actually returned the Red Box that we just got charged a late fee on. Fraudulent charges can have a huge, lasting impact on your credit. And the really scary part? Even if you don’t use a credit card….you’re still at risk. Dropping a check in the mail, logging onto a bank account online from a public computer, or even carrying personal information with you every day can put you at risk for ID theft. The good news? There are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from this growing threat.
Don’t Leave Your Mail Out: Check your home mailbox daily and drop your outgoing mail into a secure postal mail box only. Did you know that in several areas of the country, there have recently been scams where people will drive through neighborhoods and look for mailboxes with the flag up (notifying them that there is mail to go out). In today’s society, most people typically communicate via an electronic method…so it’s a pretty good guess for them to assume that bills and/or payment information for bills are in your outbox. These scammers grab your bills (with your check or credit card numbers inside) and obtain your routing and account numbers which gives them easier access to your accounts. Also, pay attention to your billing cycles as identity thieves may change your billing address, so a late bill may indicate a problem.
Leave Your Personal Items At Home: Carry only what you need in your wallet or purse. Never, ever, EVER carry your Social Security card with you in your wallet. Memorize your personal number and leave the cards at home in a safe place. Also, remember to never leave documents such as birth certificates, passports, etc. lying around or in your car. All of these items should be kept in a secure place in your home when not in immediate use to decrease the chance of theft.
Keep Your Personal Information Under Wraps: Did you know that you can request an alternate means of personal identification besides giving your social security number? You may have to give your information when setting up an account. However, in most situations, you are able to request an alternate means of identification after your initial account set up. For example, banks will sometimes ask for your social to identify your name and account information. However, it is completely reasonable and appropriate to request that they use your account ID card number or a designated password instead. You know how close people stand in bank lines? It’s not hard to overhear your information.
Keep Up With Maintenance On Your Computer: Regularly update your virus protection software and use a firewall program. Before you dispose of your old computer, delete personal information by using a “wipe” utility program to “clean” all the information off your hard drive. Also, never access your banking or personal account information from a public Wi-Fi or internet system. Do not use public computers to check your accounts or personal information as spyware is very easy to install on public devices. Also, be sure to keep your home Wi-Fi or internet system protected by a password. You can set up your home network with two login codes for added security: one for you and one for your guests.
To get the tailored policy coverage that you need, call The CHOICE Insurance Team today at 757-416-5100 and ask for a comprehensive review. We will review your home, auto, business, Life, and Identity Theft protection needs (and more!), and help you develop a plan to protect yourself, your business, your property, and your family. Give us a call today!
All The Best,
The CHOICE Team
In 2008 Choice Insurance Agency was created out of the former Realty Consultants Insurance Agency founded in 1980 by George Ayers Capt. USN Ret. Since 2008 the Choice Insurance Agency has more than tripled in size and is continue on a track of rapid growth. The Choice Insurance Agency focuses on four areas of expertise: Private Client Group, Coastal Coverage, Senior Programs and Commercial/Business Insurance. Our business model has allowed us to expand into all of the states on the Eastern Seaboard from New York to Florida including Pennsylvania and DC to better serve our ever-growing client base. As an Insurance brokerage stationed in Hampton Roads with access to well over 40+ insurance carriers, the Choice Insurance Agency is able to shop for the best rates, cover those picky coastal zones and create a tailored plan to fit your insurance needs. The Choice Insurance Agency. Call us today and see why we are the top “CHOICE” in Hampton Roads.