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Prevent Identity Fraud This Holiday Season - Shop Online Safely

Cyber Monday kicked off the online holiday shopping season. Unfortunately, nearly 12.7 million U.S. consumers had their identities stolen last year and thieves may be looking to take advantage of the online traffic this holiday season. With this in mind, The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. is offering a few simple tips to help consumers protect their personal information from cyber identity thieves.

 

"An identity theft or fraud can have a major impact on a consumer, often leaving them to deal with the mess created by cyber criminals,” said Richard W. Lavey, president, personal lines and chief marketing officer at The Hanover. “Many consumers may not realize their homeowners insurance policies may help provide protection against the burdens of dealing with identity fraud,” Lavey says.

 

The Hanover suggests online shoppers follow a few simple practices to help stay protected against cyber fraud:

 

  • Be savvy about Wi-Fi hotspots – Do not share personal or financial information over an unsecured Wi-Fi network (one that does not require a password for access).

 

  • Make sure the site is legitimate – Before entering any credit card or personal information, look for a closed padlock on your web browser or a URL address that begins with shttp or https.

 

  • Protect your personal information – Make sure the information requested is only that needed to complete the transaction. Check the website’s privacy policy to understand how the information will be used.

 

  • Keep a clean machine – Smartphones or other devices used for shopping should have up-to-date software.

 

  • Keep a paper trail – Save records of online transactions and check credit card statements as soon as they arrive. Immediately report any discrepancies.

 

Review Your Insurance

 

“An independent insurance agent can help review your coverages to make sure you have the protection you need if your identity or credit card information were to be stolen,” Lavey suggests. “Look for the better insurance policies, ones that offer expense reimbursement, proactive and restoration services, document replacement assistance, and credit card fraud coverage.” 

 

The Hanover partners with Identity Theft 911®, the nation’s leader in identity management and fraud education, to help customers prevent and resolve identity theft and fraud. To learn more about protecting your identity, visit www.hanoverIDprotection.com.

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