29 November 2012

Insurance Information Institute Warns about Identity Theft over Holidays

by Aric Mitchell, Posted in News

Insurance Information Institute Warns about Identity Theft over Holidays

The Insurance Information Institute (III) is warning consumers to hone up on their identity protection initiatives this holiday shopping season. The reminders were issued as part of a November press release in which the industry leader in insurance information advised on a number of precautions consumers should take throughout the year, but especially during the holidays.

"The hustle and bustle of the holidays creates the perfect opportunity for thieves bent on stealing your credit cards or other financial information,” said Jeanne M. Salvatore, senior vice president and consumer spokesperson for the III. “Shoppers are tired, stores are crowded and it’s easy to become less guarded about personal information that appears on personal checks, drivers licenses and credit cards."

The III advised to keep the amount of personal information that one carries on their person to a minimum and to "guard your credit card when making purchases." ATM receipts can also be a portal for identity thieves to gain access to information, so it's best to dispose of those properly.

The Institute also warned against online shopping in locations that use "http://"; prefixes instead of "https://"; - that extra "s" stands for "secure." Consumers should also consider using separate passwords for each account and storing those passwords in safe places away from electronic devices.

Most of all, shredding important documents is a good way to protect one's identity. And as a failsafe, the III notes, consumers may want to check with their agents about identity theft insurance, "which can run about $25-$50 annually," according to the release.