Florida is the state most vulnerable to identity theft, according to finance website, WalletHub. In fact, identity theft is reported to have been experienced by 33% of U.S. adults. In 2020 alone there were nearly 1.4 million reports of identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission.
These staggering statistics stress the importance of being protected from identity theft. No one wants to go through the process of getting fraud cleared from their name and accounts. By following our tips you'll be able to better protect your assets and prevent identity theft from happening to you.
Keep an eye on credit card and bank statements.
By reviewing these documents on a regular basis, you'll be able spot unknown charges on your account before it becomes too big of a problem. Should anything appear incorrect, contact your financial institution immediately.
Protect yourself online.
Always make sure you are using a secure site when entering your credit card information online. This means confirming the web address changes to "https" on any page you have to enter valuable information. HTTPS protects customer information by providing extra security and encryption to the forms.
Be wary of charity scams.
Do your research before donating to a charity, especially during the holiday season. If you've never heard of the organization, it is best to do a quick search online to be sure it is credible. This is often the time of year where we see a rise in charity scams. If you'd like to give back this holiday season, contact the charity of your choice directly to find out how you can donate or volunteer with their organization.
Use alerts for banking and other financial institutions.
Most banks will allow you to sign up for email or text alerts for activity on your account. You can also set up free fraud alerts from the three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.
Create different passwords for each account.
Using a unique password for each account will help your other accounts from being at risk. When given the opportunity, always add an authentication step to even further protect access to your account. Also make sure your security question answers are not easy to figure out through social media.
Watch your mailbox.
Stolen mail is one of the easiest paths to identity theft. By signing up for Informed Delivery through the USPS you'll be sent a preview of your mail before it arrives and be able to tell if anything is missing when you collect your mail. If going out of town, make sure to have your mail held by the post office until you're back.
Shred documents containing personal information.
Destroying documents with your personal information reduces the likelihood of becoming a victim of identity theft. Anything containing sensitive information such as an account number, billing statement, or credit card number should be shredded before being thrown in the trash or recycling.
Add Identity Theft Coverage to Your Homeowners Policy
We hope you'll keep these suggestions in mind to protect your personal information and finances during this busy time of year. Unfortunately, some things fall through the cracks so it's important to be prepared for the worst.
Should you fall victim to identity theft, Edison Insurance is here to help. For a minimal annual cost of $25, we offer our policyholders protection against identity theft. Our ID theft protection will restore your credit to the level it was prior to the breach and will reimburse our policyholders up to $25,000 in out-of-pocket expenses used to reestablish your credit. To learn more about additional coverages we offer, click here.
Keeping your family and home safe and protected is Edison Insurance Company's number one priority. Ask your agent how they can help make sure you have the proper coverage or call us at 866-568-8922.