I have been in the financial industry for over 35 years now. One of the things that happens every 28 days like clock work is changing your password. Everything we do has to be password protected. Remember the good old days when your password could be 4 letters.
What exactly is identify theft? It’s when someone gains access to your personal information. They then use this information to make purchases or try to get a loan or otherwise leverage it illegally to their benefit.
Things have changed so much for us now than it was years ago. We used the internet for just about everything such as banking, social media, medical records, stocks, etc. Now the passwords are so complicated that we need an upper case, special character, a number and must be at least 8 characters long. Have you ever created a password only to forget it five minutes later? I do it all the time.
PASSWORDS ARE WEAK SAUCE
Passwords just aren’t safe, no matter how many special characters you used. There are people out there who know how to crack hundreds of thousands of passwords in minutes.
There is software that can create very complex passwords for you and remember them for you too. But this doesn’t make us safe from those who steal from us. Even million-dollar industries can’t keep us safe. Some of the biggest companies in the world have been affected by theft such as British Airlines, Orbitz, Marriott, T-Mobile and many more.
MY OWN EXPERIENCE/S WITH IDENTITY THEFT
I have been the victim of identity theft several times. Most resulted in small purchases. The biggest was a transaction at a department store. The person was trying to purchase over $1,000 worth of merchandise. The store called me because they sensed something wasn’t right. Just recently someone tried to use my Uber account information. I get so scared when things like this happen to me and just start shutting down everything at once.
LIFEPLAN’S GUIDANCE ON IDENTITY THEFT
Lifeplan has fairly good guidance on protecting against identity theft.
- One of the ways to prevent this from happening is to make it harder for people to get credit in your name. Add a fraud alert to your account.
- Make sure you put password on all your devices to keep them secure. Without a password a thief can access all your personal data.
- Change your passwords often and make it hard. Don’t used the same password over and over.
- Never give out personal information on over the phone. Some agencies can sound very convincing; just be beware.
- The most impactful to me was the advice never to open an email attachment or click a link if you don’t know who it’s from or if it looks suspicious. This can cause a virus to your computer and everything get stolen.
LifePlan will alert you if someone checks your credit history, if any new accounts are open, if a creditor says a payment is late, if public records show you have filed bankruptcy, credit limits change or any personal information changes, such as name, address, or phone number.
If you live in the United States, the identity theft insurance program will reimburse you for certain expenses associated with restoring your identity if you become a victim after you are enrolled.
If you lose your wallet, you are protected for your credit cards, debit and ATM cards, checkbooks, drivers license, social security card, passports, travelers check and Medicare and Medicaid identification.
Identity thieves can sell your personal information on hard to find dark websites that you will never find. LifePlan has internet surveillance that monitors activity to see if your personal information is at risk. If something happens you will be notified and be instructed on what to do next.
Identity Theft Insurance:
This plan also offers an identity theft insurance policy that provides reimbursement coverage for lost funds up to $25k for unauthorized electronic fund transfers. This includes fraudulent bank and investment account withdrawals or tax returns filed in your name.
I utilized Legal Zoom Life Plan as a Contributor to Patients Rising. It’s a great plan to have.
Diane Talbert is a blogger, patient advocate and speaker for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. She has been an advocate for this disease for over a decade now. Diane has run support groups in the Maryland, DC and Virginia area, is a volunteer for several organizations and vows to help find a cure for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and stop the stigma associated with it. She loves being a wife, mother and grandmother.