How To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Identify theft has become increasingly more common in today’s digital age.  It’s much easier to get access to our personal information than it has been in the past.   It’s in our best interest to do what we can to safeguard our identity. Of course, we can look for signs of identity fraud ourselves by frequently monitoring our credit reports.  However, an identity theft protection company can do the work for you. Identity theft protection does not stop the theft from occurring.  It alerts you as soon as there is any suspicious activity on your account.  This can help you to minimize the damage.

Identity theft protection is valuable if you have been a victim of identity theft before.  Further, it can help you monitor your credit activity if your information has been stolen before.

How Identity Theft Protection Works

An identity theft protection company will monitor your credit to make sure your information is not at risk.  If they see any suspicious activity, you will be alerted.  If there is an identity theft that occurred, the case managers will help you to regain your identity. The costs generally range from $9 to $25 a month.

How Identity Theft Protection Gets You Back on Track

If identity fraud were to occur, an identity protection company can help you set up new accounts.  They can further help to clear you name and correct your credit report.   Some companies will even reimburse you for the extra money necessary to recover your account through their insurance.

Identity theft insurance doesn’t cover the actual loss. It will help to reimburse you for what you had to pay to recover your identity.

Groups Most Targeted for Identity Theft

There are two groups that are the most targeted for identity theft:

Military Personnel

Military personnel are usually a long way from home and are too busy to keep an eye on their credit reports.  They are more vulnerable to identity theft and identity theft protection can be very helpful.   That way, if anyone in the military is overseas and something suspicious were to occur, the company can identify it immediately and contact them.

There is an additional method to help protect those in the military which is called an “Active Duty Alert” on their credit file.  This alerts military personnel if someone tries to open a line of credit in their name.

The Elderly

The elderly are also at a higher risk for identity theft.  The elderly are targeted more often because many are not as aware to the different ways fraud can occur.  And, because seniors tend to have a higher net income, they are commonly targeted by phishing attack.  Medical identity theft is also more rampant when an elder is at a care facility or hospital.  Their personal information can be fairly easy to access.

Further, seniors are known to be more trustworthy and might give out personal information without really thinking about it.  Or don’t have the mental wherewithal to understand what they are doing.

Some other tips to keep in mind to help avoid identity fraud:
  • Shred all your personal documents.
  • Be very careful when sharing your Social Security number, Medicare card and military ID.
  • Don’t use obvious passwords and always use a combination of letters, symbols and numbers.
  • Keep an eye on your credit report and financial statements

Identity theft has become too all too common.  If you don’t have the time to monitor your own credit, an identity theft protection company can do it for you.

For more tips on how to prevent identity theft, check out a previous Money Minute blog.

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