There’s a good chance you or someone you know has experienced identity theft. Everyday people’s names, social security numbers, credit card numbers, passwords, and even medical information is stolen and used to commit fraud and other crimes. According to the FBI, over 100,000 identity theft and personal data breaches occur every year. However, identity theft goes beyond online security. In fact, many people have their identity stolen by someone they personally know. Once someone’s identity has been stolen the damage can be far reaching. It’s estimated to take up to six months and 600 hours to set things right and restore order to your name and credit. So how can you prevent this?
Many companies offer identity theft protection, sending you alerts if anything looks fishy, but that’s about where it ends. Sometimes that’s enough to nip a problem in the bud and stop it. Another option is to sign up for identity theft insurance. These types of programs are in place to help you after a problem occurs. Usually this means that an agent is assigned to handle all the issues and sorting through the fallout, meaning all those hours it takes to fix the problem, can be shared with a professional to help.
Your identity can be stolen even if you don’t use a computer. Identity criminals are getting more and more clever, always seeking for ways to scam people. Just remember, this is your personal information. In the hands of someone else, it could crumble the foundation of the life you have built for yourself. Something that important is worth protecting. Whether you choose to keep it simple and use a monitoring service or include insurance protection, protecting your information is protecting your future.
For more information you can go to:
FTC.gov/IDtheft and identitytheft.gov/
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