There are many moments in life when you deliberate over that extra measure of protection. Do you need to apply sunblock if you’re sitting under a beach umbrella’s shade? Is overdraft protection helpful if you always keep money in your bank account? Do I need identity theft protection?
When it comes to identity theft, the threats keep growing. Putting protection into place can help prevent criminal activity, and it’s also a significant measure of insurance. With identity theft protection, if anything does go wrong, you have the support you need to minimize the impact of financial loss and reduce time spent recovering your good name.
Criminals target everyone from children to the elderly, and they’re hacking systems that give them data on your health, finances, job, location and more. Here are some frightening facts on the current state of identity theft:
- Identity theft was the number one consumer complaint at the Federal Trade Commission in 2014.
- According to IBM, more than one billion records containing personally identifiable information were leaked last year.
- In the United States, identity fraud hits a new victim every two seconds.
- According to research firm Javelin, one out of four people who have received a letter about a data breach have become a victim of identity theft.
- Even the deceased aren’t excluded: Each year, nearly 2.5 million deceased Americans are impersonated to open new credit products and services, putting their heirs and other family members at risk.
- Identity theft related to mobile security has increased 350 percent in the last five years, the Federal Communications Commission noted.
- Criminals have gotten so bold in their identity theft scams that some have even stolen houses by impersonating a homeowner and filing official property transfer forms.
- Identity thieves have no hesitation about hacking into government sites. In May, the IRS reported that criminals used the agency’s online service to obtain prior-year information on tax returns for about 100,000 U.S. households.
- 46% of consumers with breached credit card data became fraud victims
Protect Yourself and Your Family
Because of significantly growing threats that can target you in multiple ways — through your health insurance, tax returns, retail purchases and even employment records —identity theft prevention and protection has become more important than ever.
You would never think of handing over your credit card information or bank statements to a stranger. And you would never offer to open an account in your name for someone you’ve never met. But without identity theft protection in place, that’s exactly what you risk doing, every day.
A recent ABC News story noted, “While it’s impossible to avoid some of the fallout from identity theft after it’s detected, it’s not possible to prevent these crimes.” So get smart about identity theft protection — from being more aware of your data storage habits to enrolling in a product like IdentityForce’s UltraSecure, which monitors your personal information 24/7 and notifies you quickly of any suspicious activity. If any identity theft damage does occur, IdentityForce will be with you every step of the way to help you restore your identity.
Do I need identity theft protection? The answer is “yes.” So, apply that sunblock, safeguard your financial accounts and prevent identity theft — sometimes, just a little extra protection will stop serious damage from striking.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Chad Cooper.