Identity theft struck 8 million Americans in 2005. That number has only risen in the past 3 years, and McAfee estimated that malware, responsible for much of identity theft, rose a staggering 400% in 2008 alone. In fact, identity theft and credit fraud cost responsible folks a whopping $1 trillion in 2008. Imagine banks getting robbed for $1 trillion.
People would be outraged, but when thieves steal $500 here, $1,000 there, nobody panics, especially when the money is stolen electronically over the Internet. While most people only have small amounts of cash stolen from them, 10% of identity theft victims have $6,000 or more taken away from them. The best way to protect yourself is through purchasing an identity theft insurance policy.
Updating your web browser to the most current version, scanning for spyware, and installing security programs like McAfee or Symantec aren’t enough to fully protect yourself. New malware is released onto the Internet every single day, and it usually takes a few days for definition files in anti-spyware programs to update to combat the new threats.
You can still have vital information like your credit card numbers taken off your hard drive without your knowing, and there is only so much protection you can enable from a technological standpoint. Still, those are wonderful precautions to take, and they would complement an identity theft insurance policy perfectly by preventing most attacks against you from ever becoming a problem.
Before purchasing an identity theft insurance policy, you should read some identity theft insurance reviews first to see how companies and individual policies stack up. After all, identity theft insurance can cost as much as health insurance in some cases, and if you’re making that kind of investment, then you want to get the best deal.
You want to be able to rest assured that your identity theft insurance policy will provide you with emergency credit immediately and automatically if you require it instead of forcing you to fill out paperwork. You also want the company to replace any documents like your driver’s license or passport if they’re stolen and for the insurance company to work with credit bureaus to restore your credit rating.
Identity theft can be destructive to your life but only if you don’t actively combat the problem by purchasing an identity theft insurance policy. With hundreds of offerings on the table as the problem continues to worsen (and some are beginning to wonder where the light at the end of the tunnel is), it’s best to start protecting yourself today with such a policy.
However, the best defense that everyone can practice is to educate themselves and promote smart browsing and shopping techniques online. The vast majority of identity theft is easily preventable, and insurance policies are really designed for those rare cases that nobody could anticipate.