Identity thieves are a real threat, and you have to take steps to make sure you keep your identity as safe as possible. Let’s look at some of the things you can do.
What Do Identity Protection Services Offer?
Different services may provide more or different types of protection than others do. Some of the types of things they will cover include fraud monitoring and sending fraud alerts to you, helping to recover stolen wallets, and providing resolution to theft. They may offer protection for your address, name, phone number, Social Security Number, and more. They may also offer an array of different support options so their customers can contact them through the phone and email. Of course, different companies have different offerings, so it is always important to know exactly what the company you are considering can provide before spending your money.
What Identity Protections Services DO NOT Cover?
The marketing campaigns of many of the identity protection services out there make it seem as though they can provide bulletproof and foolproof protection for your identity from any type of theft or attack. That’s simply not true. In addition, some of the information regarding the protection services can be misleading. For example, they might say that they offer insurance as part of the protection plan. That sounds great, but the fine print will often say that the insurance will cover lost wages for you if you have to take time off from work to dispute charges and to resolve the problem. The insurance will not actually cover the money you lost though.
Tips to Keep Your Identity Safe
1. Don’t throw away. Shred.
it’s a good idea to make sure you shred any papers that have your identification on them. Cut up receipts, printed account statements, credit offers, and other items that have your personal info on them.
2. Don’t use public or unsecured computers when accessing sensitive information.
Be careful when using public wifi other computers that are not yours. You never know who is listening to your connection.
3. Never click on links that are sent to you in emails, and never go to websites that you are not sure about.
Phishing emails are the #1 way that hackers can access your accounts or steal your data. Make sure you know what you are clicking on it before you click on it.
4. Use credit cards over debit cards
Even with a major breach, you don’t know how long it will take to get your money back. At least credit is virtual. Getting your cash back will be much harder.
5. Review your credit report
If you don’t want to get credit monitoring, at least make it a point to check your own credit once and a while. It’s a great way to find any inconsistencies.