How can you prevent identity theft? It’s a legitimate question that many people are asking. With the global marketplace moving predominantly to online and eCommerce sales, there is a greater risk of identity theft in 2021 than ever before. Additionally, data breaches are on the rise. The statistics are staggering: more than 15 million Americans are the victims of identity theft every year, with someone falling prey to identity fraud every 2 seconds!
The answer to that is largely in the hands of each individual. It is up to us to arm ourselves with prevention tips for identity fraud, as well as having the proper precautions in place in case such a disaster does strike. To safeguard ourselves from the misdeeds of others who might seek to steal our identities, we have to take action! Here, the Nowell Agency explores a few tips for avoiding identity theft that will leave us all better protected.
What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is the act of stealing someone’s identity and using it to their advantage. How can someone steal your identity? It’s scarily simple. This can be done by obtaining your personal information such as social security number, date of birth, bank account details, credit card numbers, and other personal identifying factors without consent from you. They may find your information online, steal a form of ID or your wallet, or even snap a picture of your bank card or personal information. With this data, a thief could open up new bank accounts in your name, take out loans, run up credit card debt, empty your bank account, get medical services, and many other nefarious acts.
How does identity fraud affect you? Identity theft is a serious crime that can have lasting effects on your life. You may be held responsible for these crimes, even when you have no idea they are occurring! Your credit score, or reputation as a borrower, may be tarnished and affect future loan applications, insurance premiums, job applications, house purchases, and more. What’s worse is that fixing these problems can take years and cost large amounts of money.
How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft in 2021
Identity fraud prevention begins with awareness. Use these tips to help protect your identity:
Minimize the amount of personal information you carry, such as your Social Security card and credit cards, and avoid providing your SSN unless absolutely necessary
Do not give out personal information over the phone
Cover your pin code at ATMs and stores, and guard your credit cards when making purchases
Dispose of ATM cards, receipts, and any financial papers by shredding them (look for a free local “shred” party hosted by banks or other organizations if you don’t have a shredder)
Monitor your accounts regularly and do not rely on your financial institutions to alert you; if you suspect a problem, contact your bank immediately
Be cautious and do not enter passwords, bank or credit card numbers, or other information when using public Wi-Fi
Be aware of data breaches on platforms you use, including social media, financial institutions, retailers, etc.
Watch out for charity and fraudulent IRS scams
Use strong passwords and an encrypted vault app if you need to store password information
Get the best ID theft protection services on the market which detect if your information is compromised or used in any way
Invest in identity fraud insurance
How to Prevent Identity Fraud
While these tips help you protect your identity for free, it is extremely worthwhile to invest in an identity theft insurance plan. With more data breaches in 2021 than ever before and identity fraud on the rise, a comprehensive policy from the Nowell Agency is a wise decision. Identity theft insurance is a surprisingly affordable way to protect yourself and can be purchased as an addition to your existing insurance or as a standalone policy.
With the Nowell Agency, you’ll have a fraud specialist on your side who can assist you in restoring your good name and protecting your identity. Additionally, you’ll have reimbursements for the costs of identity theft including legal fees, salary loss, ID or personal item replacement fees, recovering credit, and so much more. Avoid years of headaches and financial hardship that can result from identity theft and rest easy knowing that your personal information is protected and that you have safeguards in place if such a disaster does strike.
Check out all our identity fraud insurance plans in Mississippi with a click or a call to our specialists at the Nowell Agency today!
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