Indiana Department of Insurance Provides Tips to Take Action Against Identity Theft

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Find out how to identify your risk and the basic steps you can take to secure your information and data online.

Indianapolis — We rely on the Internet for work, banking, shopping and socializing. Our medical and financial information is stored online. Connected devices control everything from home security systems to thermostats and televisions. Although convenient, these connections open the door to possible malicious activity. Help manage your cybersecurity risks, such as identity theft, with these tips from the Indiana Department of Insurance.

KEY CONSIDERATIONS

Identity theft is the unauthorized use or attempted use of an existing account, the use of your information to open a new account, and the misuse of your information to commit fraud.

Data thieves gain access to information from a variety of places, including your mailbox, household and business trash, landfills, public records, and social media.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

How to identify your risk

You are at risk if you store personal information on a home or work computer, or if you bank or shop online. The following scenarios can be signs of compromised data:

  • You notice unexpected withdrawals from your bank account.
  • You do not receive your invoices or other mail.
  • You receive bills for health services you didn’t use, or your health plan rejects a legitimate medical claim.

Check your credit report regularly to make sure you don’t see:

  • A new account that you have not opened.
  • Unknown accounts listed.
  • Negative elements.

How to protect your information online

There are basic steps you can take to secure your information and data:

  • Get rid of personal information by shredding documents using a cross-cut shredder.
  • Use strict privacy settings on your computer, devices, and browsers.
  • Keep passwords confidential and do not write down your passwords. You may consider using a reliable password manager.
  • Be careful about the personal information you share on social media.
  • Beware of what you download from the Internet. Go straight to websites when you need to initiate a download. Don’t download anything or click on links from sites or emails someone sends you.
  • If your Social Security number is required by a provider, ask why it is needed and how it will be used and protected.
  • Remember, it’s okay to tell someone you’re not comfortable sharing personal information.

Protecting your information also means ensuring that your devices, including smartphones, laptops, desktops, tablets and other devices, are secure:

  • Update your software regularly.
  • Change your passwords regularly.
  • Use two-factor authentication.
  • Use anti-virus or anti-malware software to protect against malicious software that disrupts computer operations, collects sensitive information, accesses private computers, or displays unwanted advertisements.
  • Password protect your laptop to prevent unknown users from accessing it.
  • Avoid opening emails or attachments from unknown senders.
  • Back up your files to an encrypted USB flash drive or external hard drive.

BEST THINGS TO REMEMBER

  1. Check your credit report regularly for warning signs of identity theft. Indiana residents can get a free credit report each year. For more information on how to request a free credit report, visit https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/free-credit-reports#:~:text=Federal%20law%20gives%20you%20the,TransUnion)%20at%20AnnualCreditReport.com.
  2. Any Indiana resident can apply for a credit freeze for free. There is no charge for Indiana residents to place, temporarily remove, delete, or request a new password or PIN.
  3. Indiana residents can file a complaint of identity theft with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office. Visit in.gov/attorneygeneral/consumer-protection-division/id-theft-prevention/complaint-form/ to find links to the form.
  4. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has resources on how to avoid identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has an identity theft website to report incidents and develop a recovery plan.

About the Indiana Department of Insurance
The Indiana Department of Insurance protects Indiana insurance consumers by monitoring and regulating the financial strengths and market conduct activities of insurance companies and agents. The IDOI monitors the compliance of insurance companies and agents with state laws to protect consumers and provide them with the best range of insurance products available. The IDOI also assists Hoosiers with insurance matters and provides guidance in understanding how insurance policies work. Visit the IDOI on www.IN.GOV/IDOI

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