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 bona fide reality. In 2015 alone, over 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. Not to mention in the last decade, over $100 billion has been lost due to the heinous crime.

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

Be Vigilant

You might think that identity theft is done solely through sophisticated hacking and phishing schemes but it can be done by anyone you pass by on the street. Anyone who knows how to snoop properly, for instance, if you are at an ATM there might be people looking over your shoulder 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 a data breach.

Share Information With Discretion

Before you go and give your social security or credit card number over the phone, make sure that you trust whoever you are giving it to. If you answer a call from an unknown number claiming you have won some sort of prize and that all you need to do is give them your social security number, you absolutely should not comply. Just remember, it is better to be safe than sorry in situations like this.

Keep Track of Your Financial Statements

Whether it’s a credit card bill, a summary of your recent bank transactions or anything similar, you need to pay regular attention to these very closely. If you are checking them on a daily basis, then you’ll be able to catch worrisome activity earlier on and hopefully put a stop to anything sketchy before it is too late.

Make Strong Passwords

You are particularly vulnerable to theft if your bank account and email passwords are not secure with differing or tough to guess passwords. Many websites have special criteria when creating your pass code with more difficult requirements but you should still take it upon yourself to make your passwords as hard to guess as you can no matter what. Even the slightest modifications to an easy password, such as a certain number or special character before or after the original can make a world of difference. When it comes to your personal security, well being and especially when preventing identity theft you can never be too careful.

Shred Sensitive Materials

You shouldn’t underestimate identity thieves, nor should you overestimate them. They’ll do anything to access your personal and sensitive information, including but not limited to rummaging through your garbage can. If you have any documents even remotely containing any personal information, such as your social security number, date of birth or even your bank account information, you should make sure it runs through a shredder first before tossing it.

Only Carry Necessary Materials in Wallet

There are just some things that you should not carry in your wallet – even if it seems harmless. One of these is your social security card. Anyone who has a handle on this piece of paper can effectively mean theft of your entire livelihood. Keep this in a secure location at home with your belongings and make no exception. Also, if you have multiple lines of credit, it is strongly advised that you only keep one of each in your wallet at one time. If your wallet is stolen, multiple credit and debit cards mean there is greater potential for a thief to wreak havoc on you.

Ultimately, by just paying attention to those around you and keeping your sensitive information all to yourself, you can really deter anything catastrophic happening to you or your family.

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.