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Tips for Protecting Yourself

Millions of people are affected by identity theft every year. In addition to having comprehensive identity theft coverage with iDefend, there are several things you can do to ensure it won't happen to you.

Here's the best way to protect yourself and your family:

Protect your privacy.

  • Don't share your personal information (like Social Security number) unless you absolutely have to.
  • Shred your bills, pre-approved credit offers and other documents with personal information before you throw it out.
  • Get on the "Do-Not-Call" list to stop scammers from finding information about you.
  • Opt out of Direct Mail marketing lists.
  • Lock up your government ID's. Do not carry your Social Security card with you.
  • Do not share personal information on Facebook or other social networking sites.
  • Never give your personal information over the phone to businesses, the IRS, or any other organization unless you called them, or you've verified they are legitimate.

Protect against cyber-crime.

  • Make sure you are running current anti-virus/anti-malware software on all PCs.
  • Have a full computer security checkup every 6 months done by a trained professional, find and remove hacker tools and spyware missed by your anti-virus software.
  • Learn how to watch for "phishing" emails that ask for personal information.
  • Do not shop online with businesses that do not have a secure checkout process ("https" or otherwise secured transactions).
  • Use strong passwords; change them every now and then.
  • Always log off online bank accounts or other financial online accounts when you are done.
  • Know how to watch for credit card skimming devices at gas stations, ATMs, etc.
  • Don't download music or videos from illegal P2P file sharing sites

Monitor for fraud.

  • Check your credit report often (online credit reports are included with iDefend Elite). Under the federal FACT Act, you are also entitled to one free credit report to be sent to you from each of the credit bureaus each year. For details, go to
  • Monitor your credit for suspicious activity. Credit monitoring provides you with immediate notifications of any changes to your credit record (credit monitoring is included with iDefend Elite).
  • Monitor public and national fraud databases. Enrolling in an identity theft service like iDefend is a good way to get complete monitoring and alerts for the fraudulent use of your personal information in telephone/utility records, change of address databases, and public records.
  • Monitor Internet black markets. Regular scans of underground black markets for stolen IDs is also something you should do to catch a thief early on if your personal information has been stolen and is on the market. This type of monitoring is included in all iDefend plans.

Have a recovery plan.

  • Have a lost wallet plan. iDefend includes a convenient Personal Wallet Inventory tool to help you track everything in your wallet and help you take immediate action to protect yourself and then recover from a lost or stolen wallet.
  • Have an identity theft recovery service. By enrolling in a good identity theft protection program, you will know who to call if you ever think you or any family member might have a problem. Trying to recover from identity theft on your own can be a nightmare, taking up to 500 hours and costing you thousands. You should have immediate access to a team of trained experts who can work with you and manage your recovery for you. iDefend includes a personalized and fully managed identity restoration service where all the heavy lifting is done for you.
  • ID theft recovery expense reimbursement. Your recovery service should include expense reimbursement for things such as lost wages for time off work, court costs, or attorney’s fees you incur in the process of restoring your identity. A good ID theft program will have a track record of taking care of all this for you in the first place, so you don’t have any out of pocket costs or need for expense reimbursement.
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