Identity Theft – How To Protect Yourself Guerilla Style

Identity Theft – How To Protect Yourself Guerilla Style

Inside Farmers Insurance, we push to help individuals and families protect themselves from the increasingly popular crime in the US, identity theft.  The unfortunate reality is that every three seconds someone in the US is a victim of some kind of identity theft related crime.  Which means on a daily basis there are 28,000 new victims of identity theft.  Identity theft fraud occurs whenever somebody uses your unique information without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes, plus the unfortunate reality is that these perpetrators are becoming increasingly smarter with each single day.  The truth is, with just your details name, address, social security number and date of birth, your information can be utilized again and again to fraudulently open new types of credit, seek medical help, drain savings and retirement accounts and might get a job or even file false tax returns.  So not only can these crimes be costly to your wallet, they can also be incredibly time consuming to resolve.  As documented in the federal trade commission, it involves the common victim 175 hours to restore their lives after their identity is stolen.

So what can be done to protect against identity theft?  First, you should give some thought to shredding documents you throw away.  Identity theft thieves’ love recycling your trash, so you can stop them in their tracks by using a cross cut shredder.  Shred everything together with your name and address, such as statements and invoices, receipts, return address stickers, envelopes, catalogues and particularly pre-approved credit offers, bank card checks and insurance related materials.  Next, you’ll want to be smart about protecting your online account information and passwords.  Encrypt emails and computer files that contain personal or account information.  Be sure that your firewalls, anti-virus and anti-spyware programmers are up to date, and you’ll always wish to employ strong passwords that include numbers, symbols and characters.  Never use obvious passwords that include your date of birth, child or pet’s name, or mother’s maiden name, and don’t use the same password for online banking that you for shopping or networking sites.  A great way to manage your passwords is to enroll in one of many free password manager sites.  Just type password manager into Google and also you’ll get an extended list to choose from.  Some password managers are available for free along with other may charge a modest fee for more advanced features.  These password managers permit you to have one master password that can automatically log you and your loved ones in to your saved websites.  You will have to just enter your master password once and then as you revisit sites on the net, the password manager will automatically log you into your websites.  There is no more trying to recall those tricky passwords invented to help you be safe.  You can do a search on YouTube for tutorials concerning how to set up and utilize these services.

Next, it would be ideal to look at your credit files early and often.  Make sure you review your credit information from the three reporting agencies, Transunion, Experian and Equifax, twice a year.  Your best choice to do that is to visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com, the government mandated source for free credit reports.  Our last identity theft tip may be that you’ll want to keep your social security number to yourself.  It takes is surprisingly little effort to arrange fraudulent accounts and establish false credit in another person’s name.  In fact, sometimes simply a social security number and address is all that is necessary.  So, even if you are capable of doing everything on possibilities to prevent a stolen identity, it may still happen.

That’s why Farmers has a brand new choice to help consumers cope with this widespread identity theft problem.  It’s called Identity Shield which is our solution to Identify Theft and it’s an endorsement or add-on for your existing Farmers homeowners or renters policy, and for about $5 monthly, Identity Shield provides protection for as much as $30,000 in coverage.  It also includes monitoring of credit files and publically accessible records for fraudulent activity.  This is perfect for two different people per household, and victims of a stolen identity will be given the following benefits and became integrated into the Identity Shield coverage, identity resolution services for the complete household, 24/7 use of an advocate situated on the Identity Shield team to assist you or your friends member throughout the identity recovery process, preparation of correspondence necessary to notify all relevant parties no matter the fraud, including credibility firms and lenders, creation care of a case file among telephone calls, documents and results, and finally, assistance in placing fraud alerts and security freezes with all credit bureaus.

We hope this information has aided you to acknowledge the real risks of a stolen identity and provided some ideas about how you can best protect yourself.

If you are in Arizona or California, call us today at 480-491-8585 to find out more about how Identity Shield can provide great safeguard against you and the family nearly pennies a day.


* Disclaimer – Please check with your insurance agent as coverages are different between states and insurance companies.

Topic: Identity Theft Protection