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Protecting the all mighty identity of…Me!

January 28, 2010

 

Cindy Donaldson, Director of Marketing & Personal Lines Sales - Founders Insurance Group

 

 We hear so much about identity theft, that I wonder if we are becoming a tad complacent! I remember the years before the internet, before ATMs, before on-line bill pay, before the all mighty Visa Check Card – people used cash or hand wrote a check. I also remember my parents arguing with store owners when they wanted a phone number or a drivers license number on the check – they thought that was an invasion of their privacy. Today we do everything virtually – we chat with friends via Twitter and Facebook, we pay bills via our computers, we order merchandise online   and that is just a small list! Our lives, and our personal information are all very transparent to the rest of the world.    

If you are an avid follower of our blog, you know that this is the year I’m getting all my ducks in a row with my finances – protecting my identity is on the list!     

 

   

Cartoon by Joe Heller - Green Bay Press-Gazette

 

  Here are a few tips from Chubb Personal Insurance:     

Don’t disclose personal information to strangers. You may get a lot of seasonal charity solicitations and phone calls. Never give personal information to anyone who has called you on the phone, no matter who they say they are.   

Safeguard personal documents. Find a safe, secure place to keep your credit and debit cards, checkbook and Social Security card. Use a shredder and destroy any unneeded documents containing personal identifying information, especially credit card applications.
 

Handle financial transactions online. Identity thieves love to steal mail, especially from unsecured mailboxes.   

Watch for “shoulder surfers” at ATMs and when you are using a laptop computer in public places. Those prying eyes are definitely not Santa’s elves.

Never carry your Social Security card or write your Social Security Number on checks.

 

Keep anti-virus software and firewalls and all programs current to protect your computer from unwanted intrusions. This is especially important while you are doing online shopping.
 

A final tip from me: Order a copy of your credit report just to make sure that the items on there are legitimate. If not, it is possible your identity has been compromised!
 

 Your homework for the day: Don’t forget to ask your independent insurance agent (those gurus at Founders Insurance Group!) about Identity Theft Insurance – it does exist!    

Cheers to protecting your hard earned dollars!
Cindy Donaldson     

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 5, 2010 3:14 pm

    Great post Cindy. Information everyone needs to pay attention to. Just like the safety procedures on the airplane, good to review again from time-to-time.

  2. February 5, 2010 5:12 pm

    Great advice! Some additional tips for protecting your privacy:

    – change your passwords frequently and include numbers and capitols each time
    – before “singing up” for any new online site, read the terms of service to make sure they have your best interests and provacy concerns at the forefront
    – when choosing the security Q&A for online accounts, never use information that could easily be researched (ie birthdays, anniversaries, pet names, first car, etc.)

  3. February 8, 2010 9:29 am

    Kristin,
    Thanks for the add-ons!

  4. August 12, 2010 7:56 pm

    Thanks for posting 😀

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