Identity Theft is the number one white collar crime in the United States.  According to the Federal Trade Commission, Over 10 Million people fall victim to Identity Theft each year.  Stories of Identity Theft are all around.  Whether you heard about a neighbor or friend who had some mysterious “stuff” show up on his or her credit, or the news of over 130 Million personal records being jeopardized by a former government employee, the threat is there.  Unfortunately, most people still have no form of protection for their personal identity.

Fortunately, there are numerous companies offering varying plans that claim to protect your identity.  Unfortunately, most of these “plans” can’t live up to the promises that they have made.  One of the largest players in the Identity Theft market spends a lot of money on advertising his program.  The commercials show this guy handing out his social security number to people on the street, and even has a billboard truck riding down the road displaying his social security number.  “Wow!  If that guy does that then his system must really work!”  Not so fast!  This guy, who goes around touting his own system has had is Identity Stolen at least 8 times.

Let’s face facts.  There is no solution out there that can 100% Guarantee you that your identity will not be stolen.  The thieves that master Identity Theft are one step ahead of these protection systems most of the time.  So, the question that arises should be, “what can I do?”  First, you must change the way you think.  Identity Theft is an ever evolving crime.  You can never account for or protect all of the ways that your identity could be stolen.  Instead, I want you to think of protecting your identity the same way you think of protecting your home or automobile.

Just like your home or automobile, you take steps to protect those assets.  You make sure you keep the asset in good working order.  You lock doors.  You remove fire hazards.  You do a multitude or things to help prevent losses.  However, you know that no matter how much you do, there is always a chance that something will cause your precious asset to be harmed, like a fire or hurricane.  So what do you do?  You purchase an insurance policy for those risks that you just can shield from loss.

Identity Theft should be viewed in the same light.  Here are a few steps you can take to reduce your exposure to Identity Theft:

  • Monitor Your Credit Report
  • Don’t Give Out Personal Information Indiscriminately
  • Be Careful With Your Mail
  • Guard Your Trash
  • Only Give Out Your Social Security Number When Necessary
  • Pay Attention To Billing Cycles
  • Exercise Caution Online
  • Remove Personal Information From Old Computers
  • Monitor Your Motor Vehicle Report
  • Review Your Social Security Statement
  • Monitor Your Medical Records

Now that you know the precautions and steps to take to reduce your exposure, it is now time for you to look for some “insurance”.

Future Articles will provide more information on exactly what Identity Theft is and the best type of “insurance” to buy.

About The Author:  Jack Wingate is the President and Co-Founder of ALLCHOICE Insurance in Greensboro, NC.  For more information about Identity Theft, Jack Wingate, or ALLCHOICE Insurance please visit http://www.allchoiceinsurance.com

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