Why You Need Identity Theft Protection

Most of us are careful to insure our homes, cars, and businesses against unexpected disaster. However, the way we live today requires additional vigilance over our personal information. On-line and off, it's critical to have the best protection for your personal identity, privacy, and credit.

Identity theft statistics are astounding: approximately 15 million U.S. residents have their identities stolen each year with financial losses totaling upwards of $50 billion. This means that approximately 1 out of every 4 adults have their identities stolen, resulting in losses of about $3,500 in each instance. The damage can be devastating and the fall-out hard to contain.

Some of the ways your personal information can be obtained may surprise you. Everyday transactions such as credit card purchases or using an ATM are opportunities for theft. Even your mail, unsolicited phone calls, or writing your social security number on a check can leave you vulnerable. It's time we all became aware of the everyday ways we are at risk.

Safeguard your personal information

  • Keep an eye over your shoulder to be sure no one is trying to steal your pin number when you use ATMs and debit machines.
  • Buy a shredder and use it! Shred credit card receipts (after you've reconciled your bill), old bank statements, medical statements, everyday bills, and pre-approved credit card offers.
  • Take outgoing mail to the post office. Don't leave it for pick-up.
  • Monitor your credit accounts carefully. Limit the number of cards you have and close any unused accounts.
  • Never carry your social security card in your wallet.
  • Review your credit history by getting credit reports, and look for personal information or credit activity that isn't yours.
  • If you move, be sure to contact all your creditors and give them your new address.
  • Protect your social security number at all costs. Never give it to merchants, or print it on checks.
  • Never give personal information such as social security number, license number, or credit card number to phone solicitors.