You’ve probably heard all about identity theft. We all have, but that doesn’t mean you’re more likely to do anything about it. Most people don’t take it seriously until it’s too late and they’ve already become a victim.
People don’t take identity theft seriously because there are a lot of myths out there that you probably believe. When you learn the truth, you’ll understand just how serious identity theft really is.
- Everyone’s always talking about identity theft, but it isn’t that common
You probably have a friend or family member who knows someone who has experienced identity theft. You’ve probably seen commercials for identity theft on TV. It seems like everyone is talking about identity theft, but when it comes to you personally, it seems like such a distant problem in the grand scheme of things.
The truth is 16.6 million people experienced identity theft in 2012, and the numbers have held steady or increased in the following years. That’s a lot of people! Everyone’s talking about identity theft because it’s a real threat that you should definitely take seriously.
- I’m not rich, so I don’t need identity theft protection
It’s fairly common for people to believe that identity thieves single out the wealthy. After all, they’re the ones with all the money! Although there are definitely plenty of identity thieves out there willing to target people with hefty bank accounts, they are just as likely to target people without money. That’s because identity theft isn’t just about the money in your accounts.
Identity thieves can use your identity for any number of reasons. They can use it to set up new credit accounts in your name, to commit crimes, and even to obtain medical care. Some identity thieves even target children! Everyone is at risk of identity theft.
- When you get your money back, you’re not really a victim
Sure, your bank or credit card provider will likely return the funds to your account, but as mentioned above, there are many other ways a thief can use your identity. You could potentially be dealing with identity theft for many years.
In addition to dealing with your finances and good name, identity theft can take an emotional toll. It can destroy trust, encourage paranoia, and make managing your finances uncomfortable at best, and unbearable at the worst.
- I should be way more worried about a burglar than an identity thief
Being burglarized is very scary because it’s such a personal experience, which causes people to be much more worried about it than identity theft. Although 1 in 36 homes are likely to be burglarized this year, which a higher statistic than the likelihood of identity theft, you’re still way more likely to experience identity theft than you are a purse snatching or pickpocket.
If you’re willing to pay to protect your house with a home security system, you should definitely be willing to pay to protect your identity too.
- Using a debit card is safer than a credit card because it has a pin number
Using your debit card is a good idea financially, as it ensures that you only spend money that you actually have. Unfortunately, it isn’t necessarily safer when it comes to identity theft.
The trouble is your debit card ties back to your bank account, where an identity thief can gain access to all of your accounts. It’s much more lucrative for an identity thief to obtain your debit card information, and it’s a lot easier to get than you think, even if you do have a pin number.
- I’m safe from cyber threats because my information is password protected
Nearly every website requires a password nowadays. Although these passwords are meant to keep your information safe, they aren’t as secure as you think.
Most people choose passwords that are easy to remember, and they use the same password across multiple websites. Using passwords in this way makes your accounts much easier to hack. Creating the perfect password can help, but it isn’t foolproof. A good hacker can find their way into your accounts, no matter what kind of password you have.
Hopefully, now you see that identity theft is a real threat that deserves your attention. Consider signing up for an identity theft protection plan. There are many options to fit any budget!