Not Concerned About Identity Theft?
A new survey by Experian reveals the reality of people’s lack of concern regarding identity theft. The reality is that it is not a matter of if you become a victim. It is a matter of when you become a victim. The probabilities are extremely high. This isn’t speculation on my end. That opinion comes as a result of the numbers.
Among the survey findings –
- 84 percent of respondents acknowledge being concerned about the security of personal information online, but nearly two-thirds (64 percent) agree it’s “too much of a hassle to constantly worry about securing personal information online.”
How can you acknowledge the epidemic and come to the conclusion that it is too big of a hassle to deal with?
- A significant majority of respondents (72 percent) think thieves are only interested in “wealthy people’s identities.”
Is it a justification for a lack of concern? “I am not a wealthy person so this doesn’t apply.” Guess what, a thief just needs a social security number and they are set.
As a part of a financial plan, everyone should have an identity theft plan. An identity theft plan includes the following:
1) A Credit Monitoring Service – A credit monitoring service alerts you to changes on your credit report and it is the first line of defense against identity theft. What about all the other services that are marketed? Until a company such as Lifelock can prove that they can do what they say, call me skeptical. Their initial state of the art service was putting fraud alerts on your account until a judge shut them down. Then they magically came up with this exclusive service a few weeks later.
2) Being intentional about guarding your personal identification information. In other words, not being a part of the above statistics. Just be mindful that it can happen and be protective of your information. Being aware of your surroundings makes up a good percentage of the solution.
3) Regularly checking credit card and bank statements for unauthorized transactions.
4) Following the Golden Rule of Identification Protection – Never give out information to anyone that approaches you first. That includes a random phone call, a visitor at the door, an email, etc.
Don’t be a statistic! The correction of an identity theft case requires hours of effort at the minimum.