Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week
On average, it takes more than 200 hours and 6 months for a victim of identity theft to restore their identity on their own. In 2015, there were more than 780 reported data breaches, compromising the identities of nearly 170 million people. The number of victims continues to rise each year. One key piece of personal information sought by ID thieves is your Social Security Number (Social Insurance Number in Canada). The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has designated January 30th to February 3rd, Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week. Now is the time to familiarize yourself with the risk of ID Theft and take steps to protect your personal financial information. LegalShield and IDShield offer these top tips to protect your personal information and prevent identity theft in 2017: Stop Before You ShareIf you are asked for sensitive information, such as a Social Security Number, ask why it is needed and what systems are in place to protect it.Be wary of sharing personal information over the phone or email, especially if you’ve received an unsolicited communication (even if you do regular business with the organization). Watch the Wi-FiA thief can sit at a popular Wi-Fi location such as a coffee shop and set up a fake hotspot. Any unprotected data sent over a fake Wi-Fi network can be saved to the thief's computer. Use a virtual private network (VPN) connection whenever possible. Be Security Savvy on Social MediaShare personal information sparingly on social media sites.Explore privacy settings for your profile and control who gets to see the information you post. Safeguard Your StatementsShred and dispose of any bank statements, tax documents or other mail that contains personal information.If available, disable mailed statements and review statements through a secure network. Secure a ServiceNot all identity protection services are equal, so when selecting a protection service, consumers should look for services that offer web monitoring, credit monitoring and restoration.IDShield is a product of LegalShield, which provides comprehensive identity protection, proactive consultations and monitoring to restoration in the event of identity theft. It is the only identity theft protection service with a network of licensed private investigators, a five-million-dollar service guarantee and 24/7 access to service. If you are an IDShield member download the new IDShield App from the iTunes or Android store today.If you do not yet have an IDShield membership visit www.idshield.com to learn more.