What you can do to protect yourself from
identity fraud

Protect yourself when online

There are many things you can do personally to stay safe online. Here are some tips for protecting your computers, your private information and your identity.

Create strong passwords and protect them

Don't ever share your usernames or passwords with anyone. Don't use the same passwords for different sites. Create complex passwords of at least eight characters that have both upper and lower case letters, numbers and special symbols. If you can't remember your passwords, store them in a safe place away from the computer.

Be wary

If there is any reason to doubt the authenticity of an email message from a company you do business with, don't click on the links or buttons in the message. If you receive messages that ask you to verify or re-enter account information that you have already given to an organization, be suspicious. Do not provide confidential information, like PIN for an ATM card.

Alert organizations to scams

If you suspect an organization is being impersonated, or are aware of a scam, contact:

Delete suspicious emails

Delete suspicious emails without replying to them.

Don't email personal information

Avoid emailing personal and financial information.

Be cautious of Wi-Fi

Use extra caution with wireless Internet connections. Wireless networks may not provide as much security as wired Internet connections. You can learn more about security issues relating to wireless networks by visiting the Wi-Fi Alliance at wi-fi.org.

Protect your computer

Install personal firewalls and security software packages with antivirus, antispam and spyware detection features. Make sure your computer has the latest security patches and make sure that you access your online financial account only on a secure web page using encryption.

Shop online with a credit card

Don't use a debit card with access to your bank accounts. Credit card companies give you better protection in case someone gains access to your credit card number.

Log off completely

When you're finished with online transactions or checking online accounts, log off. Closing your browser or typing in a new web address when you're done using your account may not be enough to prevent others from gaining access to your online information.

No one is immune to identity fraud

The Internet is now part of everyday life, with millions of people shopping, banking and socializing online. Users must be vigilant in recognizing online threats that put their privacy, personal information and identity at jeopardy, especially when you consider that identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the U.S., according to FBI statistics. Be on the lookout:

  • Have you received suspicious emails requesting personal and financial information or requests to update your personal information via an email link? Phishing attacks use emails and malicious websites to collect personal and financial information, oftentimes posing as a reputable company. Know that you should be the one initiating such activity, not the company. If you are unsure whether an email request is legitimate, contact the company.
  • Are you seeing unauthorized bank activity or charges on credit card(s)?
  • Have you been declined a loan or employment because your credit reports show defaults on loans unknown to you?

Consider identity fraud protection

The number of identity fraud incidents is on the rise, with more than 11.1 million adults victimized in 2009; and identity fraud is the fastest growing crime in the U.S. according to FBI statistics. If you're concerned about having your identity stolen, Travelers can help you protect yourself. We offer Identity Fraud Expense Reimbursement Coverage that helps pay the expenses associated with getting back your good name.

Report identity theft/fraud

If you suspect you've become a victim of identify theft, or that someone has stolen your personal information and committed a crime or fraud in your name (identity fraud), act immediately:

  • Contact your financial institutions to report the theft
  • Watch for unauthorized charges to your account(s)
  • Call the three credit bureaus to file fraud alerts
  • Report the attack to the police
  • File a report with the Federal Trade Commission at uce@ftc.gov
  • Contact the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov

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No one is immune to identity fraud

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