In 2018, nearly 17 million consumers experienced identity theft. That is an increase of eight percent compared to 2017 and the highest number in the past five years. Identity theft is big business and it is here to stay.
So how can you protect your personal information and avoid becoming a victim of identity theft? If you have already experienced identity theft, what steps can you take to recover from the situation?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) identifies four main ways to keep your personal information secure:
· Know who you share information with.
· Store and dispose of your personal information securely;.
· Ask questions before deciding to share your personal information.
· Maintain appropriate security on your computers and other electronic devices.
Additionally, the FTC suggests the following ways to make protecting your identity part of your everyday routine:
· Read your credit card and bank statements carefully and often.
· Know your payment due dates. If a bill doesn’t show up when you expect it, look into it.
· Read the statements from your health insurance plan. Make sure the claims paid match the care you got.
· Shred any documents with personal and financial information.
· Review each of your three credit reports at least once a year.
Protecting yourself from identity theft requires that you remain vigilant and take the appropriate steps to safeguard your personal information. Visit the new Identity Theft Resources page at http://www.ncbcweb.com/benefits/id-theft for more information and resources to help you avoid becoming a victim of identity theft.
As always, if you have any benefits-related questions, feel free to contact me or the Benefits Committee. The Benefits Committee can be reached via email at email@example.com.