Ringing in the New Year may mean making resolutions towards a “new you” but be careful that you don’t lose “you” and your identity when making efforts to proclaim your resolutions. For many, it’s a time to self-reflect and look for ways to enhance your body, mind, and spirit, but you need to be careful about how New Year resolutions could jeopardize your identity. The good news is there are some useful tips to protect your personal information.
Protecting Your Identity as a New Year Resolution
Not sure this is one of the most popular resolutions this year, but maybe it should be! Let’s look at some helpful tips to ring in the New Year while making attempts to avoid identity theft.
Decrease Clutter- A common resolution is to clear out all that piles up throughout the year, which could mean clothing or household items you are no longer using. Make sure before denotating or giving these items to a local charity or person that you clear out all pockets, drawers, or anything that may hold personal information. Also, make sure the charity to which you are donating is a legitimate nonprofit organization and avoid meeting with people at your home to donate items. Meet them at a public location and let someone else know where you will be.
Organize Mess- Throughout the year, things pile up so many of you, including myself, are organizing all the mess that are on the desks, counters, etc. Before clearing out the mess and/or organizing it, make sure before you throw any papers away, you are aware of any personal information on the documents. If you have any information that is considered personal (social security number, driver’s license number, financial information) use a shredder before discarding.
Get in Shape- One of the most popular resolutions is to get in shape. If you are a gym member, you may see all the New Years’ resolutioners making a sincere effort to get into a new routine but be careful when joining a gym. If the gym you are joining asks for personal information such as social security number, license number, or address, it is reasonable to ask what measures the gym uses to protect your information.
One important tip to remember is that scammers are skilled at getting into lockers and stealing purses, wallets, car keys, and money so when you get a locker bring your own lock and make sure it is strong! It is also reasonable to ask the gym owner or the employees at the front desk, what measures they have in place to keep your items safe and secure.
Identity Fraud Protection- You can sign up for identity and credit monitoring services that can monitor unusual activity and notify you if any red flags appear.
Also, it is recommended you contact your local New York independent insurance agent about what type of identity fraud protection coverage is available. With this protection, you will be compensated for expenses associated with identity theft in addition to expenses incurred to recover your identity and restore credit.
Improve Financial Well-Being- Improving your financial health is certainly important. Perhaps your resolution this year is to reduce debt and increase your credit score. Keeping your personal information safe and secure to minimize the risk of identity theft is a respectable goal for the New Year, so you can do the following things:
- Change your passwords- Make sure you change your passwords for email and financial institutions to a strong password that is not easily detected.
- Access your credit reports- Review them and make sure everything is accurate and the accounts belong to you.
Protect Your Computer- Make sure your operating system is current, make sure necessary malware software is updated, and make sure your files are backed up on a hard drive.
Keeping Your New Year Resolutions
Taking preemptive measures to avoid being a victim of identity theft is priceless. This year, put this resolution on the top of your list of resolutions to becoming the new “you.” If you have any further questions or concerns regarding identity theft protection, call our offices at Cameron Insurance Group at 845-627-2130. Happy New Year from our offices to YOU!