B32 Bay Area Insurance and Identity Theft
Identity theft is a rapidly growing area. It describes the theft of personal information which is then used to steal from bank accounts, establish phony credit cards and take out loans or even mortgages in your name. Bay Area insurance companies are now offering coverage for identity theft in some home insurance policies. It can take a lot of effort to get your credit record back after becoming a victim of identity theft so prevention is a much better option. Ways to help prevent identity theft include:
- Change electronic passwords regularly and always use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols (if possible) in passwords to ensure they are not easily guessed.
- Keep personal information in your wallet or purse to a minimum. Take your passport with you only when absolutely necessary.
- Be aware of prying eyes. Shield your card when entering passwords at ATMS or using credit cards in phones.
- Gather all ATM receipts. At home, never dispose of personal documents in the trash without shredding them first.
- Be careful of online shopping sites. Always look for the locked padlock symbol and contact the company to check their URL if you have any doubts about a particular site.
- Never respond to emails requesting your password or banking details! The same applies to phone calls requesting these details.
- Ensure you have anti-virus and spyware software on your computer.
- Check bank and credit card statements thoroughly for signs of any irregular activity.
To check if your current home policy covers identity theft or find out more about identity theft insurance, contact your Bay Area insurance agent. Identity theft is more common than you might think so it’s worth checking what insurance products are available.