Everyday habits that expose you to identity theft

Wednesday, February 6, 2019by  PEMCO Insurance

​Feeling anxious about identity theft? You're not alone!

With a steady drip of warnings about privacy breaches, many of us are turning to technical solutions like password managers, multifactor authentication and biometric recognition. But did you know you also can reduce your risk by changing simple, everyday habits like these:

  1. Calling your bank or credit card company in public. Phone conversations in noisy settings (like food courts and airports) often mean you have to shout to be heard. Wait until you're home for any call that might involve dictating an account, credit card or Social Security number.
  2. Oversharing on social networks. Information like your pet's name can give identity thieves potential clues to your passwords. Also, review and adjust your online networks' privacy settings, rather than just assume the default settings are right for you.
  3. Handing over your credit card to just anybody. Consider using cash more often, especially when shopping at pop-up kiosks and holiday markets.
  4. Recycling personal documents without shredding them. Dumpster diving is still a thing!
  5. Ignoring your bank statement. Compared with older consumers, younger people are less likely to balance bank statements and order routine credit reports. Studies show they take almost three times longer to detect bank or credit account fraud than older consumers.
  6. Relying solely on the Post Office to forward mail. If you move around for work or school, you may leave a trail of orphaned mail behind you. Besides notifying the Post Office of your new address, tell businesses that regularly send you billing or account information. Or, switch to online bill paying and eliminate the mail altogether.
  7. Leaving personal information lying around. Lock up sensitive data so it's out of view for casual guests and household helpers.

And here's a worry-buster you might not realize you have: As a PEMCO policyholder, you and family members living in your home are protected by PEMCO ID Smart™, an identity-fraud assistance service you receive at no extra charge. If you think you might be a victim of identity theft or just have questions, call 800-GO-PEMCO 24 hours a day to be connected with a fraud advocate. 


PEMCO ID Smart™ is powered by CyberScout®, the nation's leader in identity management and fraud education.

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At PEMCO, we believe that maintaining the confidentiality of personal information is a fundamental responsibility. View our privacy policy.