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Identity Theft Not Stopped by Shredding Mail

Identity Theft Myth #1:  Shredding my mail and other documents will protect me from identity theft

We all know at least one person who uses their home shredder to diligently destroy all to-be-discarded documents and postal mail and removes all labels bearing their name, address, phone or any other personal information.  Perhaps you do it yourself.  The good news:  shredding documents that contain personal information before you throw them away is a very good habit to have.  It is the best way to disappoint any "dumpster diving" thieves who might search your garbage to find your personal information.

But if that is all that you do, then you are leaving yourself open to identity theft in many other ways.  Do you store your auto registration, insurance cards and/or auto repair receipts in your car?  Do you ever leave bills, checkbooks and documents lying on the kitchen counter or desk where they may be viewed by visitors or service technicians in your home?  Do you store personal identification and other details on your computer without password protection?  Do you provide personal information when contacted by phone or e-mail as long as you recognize the company on your caller ID or computer?  Do you keep a cheat sheet of computer passwords on your desk at work?  Avoiding identity theft and related fraudulent crimes means that you must think defensively at all times.  This means securing your personal information in your car, your office and your home; and always practice safe online security habits.

Deterring Identity Theft

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that you will never become a victim of identity theft.  Learn more about Identity Theft and how to minimize your risk.

Avoiding Identity Crime Online

Read about the common-sense ways to assure computer security and protect yourself from identity theft and related fraud without minimizing your ability to use today's technology.

But What if Identity Theft Happens?

The bad news is that you might not even know if you are a victim of identity theft for a very long time.  In fact, until you find that accounts are open in your name that you did not create or you receive notice of tax or legal violations or perhaps your bank account is emptied.  When you realize what has happened, then you must begin the long, frustration and often expensive process of restoring your reputation and recovering your identity. 

Identity Recovery Insurance

The good news is that you can take measures to protect yourself through Identity Recovery Insurance which will offer guidance, assistance and most importantly financial benefits to help you move forward.

Many of the major insurance carriers today offer this coverage, and the method differs.  Some offer a stand-alone policy while some offer coverage as a part of a homeowners insurance pollicy.  Still others offer it as an endorsement. 

So, how do you get this coverage?

You should start by asking your insurance agent.  In fact, here at the William M. Sparks Insurance Agency in Timonium, MD, our experienced agents can give you all the details and help you make the choices needed to assure that you have a place to start and a helping hand to recover from identity theft.  Why not contact us to find out what your options might be -- now... before you ever need it. 

Tuesday, 23 October 2012 22:35

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