For many millions of people, identity theft is more than just a passing thought. It’s a real problem that affects their ability to buy a home, maintain a decent credit score, and improve their overall financial wellbeing. In some cases, identity theft even includes legal action or a costly lawsuit.
The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to help protect yourself from this type of situation. Not sure what this entails? Thankfully, our team here at Couri has put together a quick guide in helping you understand the ins and outs of identity theft.
What’s Identity Theft?
Before you can try to protect yourself from identity theft, you need to understand what it is and what it includes. Technically, there are twenty common types of ID theft, but really any situation where someone pretends to be in your likeness for some sort of gain is considered identity theft.
These scenarios can range the gamut from something as simple as someone taking your mail without your permission to opening up a mortgage in your name. It also includes situations where someone might even assume your same name on a social media site or take photos of your family from your profiles and claim they are their own.
How Safe is Your Identity?
If you think your personal information is safe, you’re wrong. Data breaches happen all the time, exposing millions of people’s personally identifiable information to hackers. In fact, it’s likely that you are already listed on the dark web, giving bad people access to your name, address, phone number, social security number, and more.
Unsuspecting customers of large companies such as Home Depot and Marriott Hotels have all been victims of data breaches. And most people were shocked to realize Equifax, a leader in consumer credit reporting, had personal information leaked in what’s billed as one of the biggest data breaches in modern memory.
Best Identity Theft Prevention Tips
While keeping your personal information totally safe is nearly impossible, there are a few steps you can take to help keep that data from being used. For example, you can sign up for credit monitoring through your bank or any of the three major credit bureaus. Check your reports regularly for any discrepancies including new accounts or file checks. If you notice someone has used your identity, freeze your credit report to keep further damage from happening and contact the local police immediately.
Understanding ID Theft Insurance
You already know that you need auto insurance, but what about identification theft coverage? This type of policy is designed to help you should you encounter a case of identity theft. While it won’t help in paying for the exact debt incurred by someone stealing your identity, it can assist you in fees associated with getting your name cleared and your credit profile corrected. The cost of this type of coverage varies, but most people find it pretty affordable in contrast to having to pay for an identity theft issue out-of-pocket.
While many people don’t want to think about the idea of having their identity stolen, there is a very real possibility that it could happen to you or someone you love at one time or another. That’s why keeping a close eye on your credit profile is so important. The tips mentioned here are just a start of what you can do to keep identity theft from happening to you.
Ready to take a look at your insurance coverage or discuss if you’re at risk for identity theft? Please contact our knowledgeable and experienced team at Couri Insurance Agency today for more information.