PROTECT YOURSELF FROM IDENTITY THEFT

 

This is an increasing problem which we hear about in the media more and more.  While your homeowner policy may provide limited coverage for identify theft expenses and resolution services, higher limits and types of coverage can be purchased.

 

Here are some tips that can help prevent your identity from being stolen:

 

  • Don’t freely give out your Social Security number and mother’s maiden name.  If a business asks for this, ask what it will do with the information, why the company needs it, how the company will protect it, and what will happen if you refuse to provide this information.
  • Do not carry your Social Security card, birth certificate,  or passports unless you need them.
  • Shred or hide all documents (credit card statements, bills, credit card receipts, tax returns, unused checks, canceled checks, and credit reports) that contain account information, Social Security numbers, PINs, or sensitive information. Also shred or otherwise destroy expired credit cards and driver’s licenses, and never leave receipts at bank machines, bank counters, trash receptacles, or unattended gas pumps.
  • Check your credit report at least quarterly. If you are planning to make a major purchase that will require a credit check, check your credit report monthly.
  • Keep your wallet and purse hidden from guests, employees, and coworkers.
  • When not in use, log off your computer
  • Do not use public or work computers to access bank accounts or other personal accounts.
  • Never send personal information via email, and never respond to emails asking you to verify your password, account number, Social Security number, or credit card numbers.
  • When paying by credit card, keep your credit card within sight at all times
  • Use unique passwords that are at least six digits and include letters, numbers, symbols, and upper and lower cases.
  • Choose different passwords and PINs for each account.
  • Do not choose obvious passwords. Avoid pets’ names, birthdates, or last four digits of your phone number or Social Security number.
  • Change passwords regularly.
  • Do not give passwords or PINs to other people.
  • When giving vendors your credit card number, Social Security number, or other personal information via telephone, make sure no eavesdroppers can overhear the conversation.
  • Open all bills and bank statements promptly and reconcile all accounts monthly.
  • Never mail anything with your account number printed on the outside of the envelope.

 

Call your Deland Gibson agent today to see what your policy provides for and to find out if higher limits are available.