Keeping Yourself Protected Against ID Theft
With all the new advances in technology it was bound to happen. People take what is intended for good and use it for evil. We are talking Identity Theft. It is on the rise and can cause more than just a little headache. Not only can thieves take your identity, they can wipe you clean financially and ruin your credit. It is too bad that these days something as simple as walking with your wallet in your pocket can turn into a catastrophic financial loss. We, at Ross Insurance, have put together some tips for you, to help guard yourself against this violation to more than your piggy bank.
- Change Passwords Frequently: This may seem like a huge hassle, especially since you finally remember it and now you have to change it again, but the hassle it could save you is monumental. The stronger or more difficult the password the better. It may be harder for you to get used to, but it will be equally difficult for a thief to figure out. Never use personal information for a password like a birthday, pets name or phone number. That is generally one of the first things a cyber-thief will try. Set yourself a reminder twice a year or quarterly to change pertinent passwords so your remember. You would set a reminder for something as simple as dry cleaning pickup….isn’t your identity equally important?
- Check on your accounts regularly: Monitoring your money is a simple step that can bring purchases and withdrawals to your attention quickly. These days, transactions made on your credit or debit cards show immediately online, and on mobile apps. The more frequently you check these accounts the better chance of noticing a breach quickly. If you have been behind a desk all morning and a purchase is showing at a 7-11 in Nashville, it’s a safe bet it wasn’t you and you should contact your bank immediately. Time is critical in these situations. The sooner you realize there is an issue the sooner it can get corrected.
- Report Fraud Immediately: Most banks and institutions won’t hold you responsible financially for fraud issues but you also might not recoup your monetary loss right away either. Banks have 10 days to fix and get things corrected by law, but you will be out that money in the interim. Again, the sooner it is reported the sooner the money is on its way back to you!
- Beware of the skimmer: You don’t even have to take your wallet out of your pocket or purse to have your account compromised. There is a machine, that just by walking past you, can read the chip implanted in your credit cards, debit cards, passports etc. and have immediate access. This is an especially scary kind of theft. These kind of thieves will tend to get you in populated areas like theme parks, concerts, boardwalks or movie theaters. They only need to walk closely past you and that’s it! Info transferred! There are great RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) wallets and even purses that can protect your important information and prevent these skimming machines from transferring information.You are your best advocate! Stay alert and on top of your accounts and if something seems wrong, don’t wait. Act immediately to try to resolve the issue and quickly as possible. Even with the best technology and most diligent monitoring, sometimes things happen and it might happen to you, but knowing how to help deter these acts is a step in the right direction!!
Check out this helpful link to learn more about identity theft and how you can be proactive and protect yourself!