Identity Theft Prevention

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Identity Theft


Don’t Be A Statistic Of Identity Theft

The thought of someone gaining unauthorized access to your most sensitive information might send shivers down your spine, but identity theft is a very unfortunate reality. In 2015, 13.1 million U.S. residents lost an estimated $15 billion to identity theft, according to Javelin Strategy and Research’s 2016 Identity Fraud Study. Over the last decade, over $100 billion have been lost due to identity thieves.

Once your identity is stolen, it can be very difficult to recover from. Therefore, the best method to fight identity theft is to keep it from happening in the first place. These are some methods to help your identity from being stolen.

Be Vigilante

You might think that identity theft is done solely through sophisticated hacking and phishing programs, but it can be done by anyone you pass by on the street who knows how to snoop properly. For instance, if you are at an ATM, there might be people looking over your shoulder, attempting to find out what your PIN is. If you are in a situation where you are sharing sensitive information in public, be wary about those around you, as it could result in theft

Share Information With Discretion

Before you go and give your social security or credit card number over the phone, make sure that you trust who you are giving it to. For instance, if you receive a call from an unknown number claiming you have won a grand prize of some sorts and that you just need to give them your social security number, you absolutely should not comply. It is better to be safe than sorry in situations of possible id theft.

Keep Track of Your Financial Statements

Whether it’s a credit card bill, a summary of your recent bank transactions or anything else, you need to pay regular attention to these matters. If you are checking these on a daily basis, then you’ll be able to catch worrisome activity early and hopefully put a stop to any id theft.

Make Strong Passwords

You make yourself particularly vulnerable to attacks if your bank account and email passwords are not secured with a
password that would be difficult to decipher. Many websites have special rules to make your password more difficult to access, but you should make your password as hard to guess no matter what. Even slight modifications to an easy password, such as shifting a certain number of characters to the right or left, can make a big difference when it comes to security and preventing an id theft.

Shred Sensitive Materials

You shouldn’t underestimate identity thieves, nor should you overestimate them. They’ll do anything to access your information, including rooting through your garbage. If you have any documents containing information such as your social security number, you should run it through a shredder to prevent dumpster divers from getting their hands on it.

Only Carry Necessary Materials in Wallet

There are some things you should not carry in your wallet, even if they fit perfectly. One of these is your social security card. Theft of this can effectively mean theft of your whole livelihood. Keep this in a secure location at home. If you have multiple credit and debit cards, it is strongly advised that you only keep one of each in your wallet. If your wallet is stolen, multiple credit and debit cards mean there’s much more potential for a thief to wreak havoc on you.

We hope this advice helps to prevent any identity theft in the future. By paying attention to those around you and keeping sensitive information to yourself, you can help keep yourself secure.

Home Inventory

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homeCan you list everything you own from memory? Didn’t think so.

One of our favorite sayings is: “Home is where the heart is.” That saying rings true for many who find “home” a safe haven and a place to cherish, convene with family and friends, raise children, cook meals, rest, retire and celebrate.

Most will agree a home is not just a pile of bricks and mortar. Rather, a true “home” comprises much more, including everything inside it.

Some of the things inside your house that helps make it your home include your furniture and appliances, clothing, sports equipment, and electronic goods. These items are considered personal property – and it’s really important to protect it all.

How do I protect what really makes my house a home?

Protecting the important stuff inside your home begins with an understanding what you have. If you’re like many people, you may find your home contains much more personal property than you realize.

To understand how much stuff you have, develop a careful inventory of your personal property following these tips.

  • Use a video camera to record and audibly describe items as you move through your home. If you don’t have access to a video camera, use a standard camera or phone camera.
  • Whether you use still photos or video to develop your inventory, include brand names and descriptions where possible, especially on high-cost items.
  • Keep any and all receipts on high-dollar purchases. Keep these receipts filed together with any instruction booklets, warranties, etc. that accompany the items.
  • Store your video or photo inventory offsite or back it up with an additional drive.
  • When you make new purchases, be sure to add them to your inventory.

Download Your Free Home Inventory Worksheet Today!

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If you have high-value items, be sure to check with your agent at CityScape Insurance so we can review your homeowners coverage to make sure you’re properly protected.  We understand that your home is not just a house, and we are here to help ensure that everything important to you is protected—both outside and inside your home.