3 Reasons You Are Vulnerable and Probably Need Identity Theft Insurance
Identity theft is one of those problems that people don’t like to think about. The general mindset is, “Identity theft only happens to other people; it could never happen to me.” If this is your way of thinking, we can’t begin to explain how wrong you are.
According to Javelin’s 2016 Identity Fraud Study, over 13 million U.S. residents were the victims of identity theft in 2015, and it was the top consumer complaint to the FTC. The scariest part is that experts forecast identity theft to become more prevalent in the coming years given the amount of public information that is available online about each and every one of us.
The following are three reasons why you are likely to be vulnerable to identity theft, and should consider employing identity theft insurance.
Why You Likely Need Identity Theft Insurance
1) Your social media accounts
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (among others) have become a part of our everyday lives.
The business model behind social media encourages users to input as much personal detail as possible in order to closely target these users with appropriate ads. Most of us are happy to do so in order to gain access to the platforms, but don’t realize the risk we are taking.
Hackers can easily exploit the personal data that is on social media websites to imitate you and steal your identity. Most people forget to log out of an active Facebook session, and are not aware that you can set up notifications to receive login alerts.A few basic pieces of information like your birth date, address, and place of work may be enough for criminals to apply for a credit card or gain access to your bank account. If this happens to you and you don’t have identity theft insurance, you may be liable for charges that thieves rack up in your name. Click here to read more about how to protect your identity on social media.
2) Vulnerabilities in your email account
Another vulnerable part of our digital lives is our email accounts. It may surprise you to know how many people have had their Gmail account hacked. While this may not seem like a big deal, you should consider how much information you have in your email account. Run LogDog’sInbox Detective to find out what valuable information is just sitting in your inbox.
One way to protect yourself is to use at least 3 different email addresses. Use the first one to receive emails from important sites, such as PayPal and Amazon; use the second one to receive emails from unimportant sites and apps; and use the third one (from a different email provider, such as Outlook) to receive your password-reset emails in case the first one (e.g. Gmail) is hacked.You can learn more about protecting your Gmail account from being hacked here.
3) The threat of credit card theft
Credit card theft is by far the biggest threat to those that don’t have identity theft insurance. Not only is credit card theft becoming increasingly common (and easy for criminals), it can wreak serious havoc on victims’ lives, permanently damaging their credit scores and forcing them to fight with banks to repair their reputations.
When you buy products online without any sort of credit protection, you are taking a huge risk by putting your financial life in someone else’s hands and potentially exposing yourself to identity theft. If an online shopping site only allows you to make payment with credit cards, then you should use a virtual credit card instead. It is also worth downloading a credit monitoring service, which will help you stay safe, no matter how you pay online.
How to Protect Yourself Against Identity Criminals
While identity theft insurance can help you recoup some of your lost money, the best way to protect yourself against identity theft is by taking these basic identity protection measures:
- Don’t let web browsers store your passwords
- Turn on 2-step authentication whenever possible.
- Do not store your critical passwords in the cloud.
- Check domain names carefully for fake URLs
- Use password management software
- Don’t log in on someone else’s computer
- Don’t use public Wi-Fi, hotspots, or free VPNs
- Don’t send sensitive data via unencrypted connections
- Protect all your devices with firewalls and anti-virus software
- Keep your operating systems up-to-date with the latest security updates
- When you leave your computer or phone, remember to log out of all your apps
- Download LogDog’s comprehensive protection app for iOS or Android
Overall, the threat of identity theft is real and should be taken seriously. If you are looking for steps and information on what you can do to better protect against identity theft, then follow our blog for more advanced guidelines