‘Tis the season for holiday shopping, which means identity thieves are just waiting to pounce on unsuspecting shoppers. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, each year nearly 20 million people in the United States are victims of identity theft. Identity theft can be a lump of coal plaguing victims long after the holiday season concludes, as devastating consequences may take years to rectify. However, our gift to you is some tips to prevent identity theft and protect yourself in the event your identity is stolen:
|1. Protect Those Passwords! Change passwords frequently throughout the holiday season. Try making passwords more difficult to “crack” by using capital letters, numbers, and punctuation where allowed.
2. Gift Cards > Credit Cards. Use gift cards instead of credit cards to make purchases at stores and online. Yes, there’s a fee when you buy them, but they’re not tied to your credit or your bank.
3. Think You’re A Victim? If you think you’ve been the victim of identity theft, report it to the local police, the IRS Identity Protection Special Unit (1-800-908-4490), and the Federal Trade Commission (consumer.ftc.gov or 1-877-438-4338). Also, all your credit card companies and your banks immediately.
4. Give The Gift Of Adequate Protection. Consider investing in identity theft protection from MMA Insurance. It’s surprisingly affordable and a great way to enjoy peace of mind no matter where or how you shop. We traditionally recommend cyber liability policies for businesses. Thieves are shopping for their next victim. Make sure the bow on your insurance portfolio is tied by contacting an agent today.