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How to Protect Your Valuables At College 📱💻📷🚴📚

August 3, 2015
Protecting your valuables at college

Before you head back-to-college this fall, take a moment to consider how you’ll protect all those things you’re running around to buy and pack up so you’ll be as prepared as possible leading up to the big move-in day. Not trying to be a buzzkill, but theft, fires, and other damages can and do happen on college campuses, and your stuff is definitely vulnerable. In fact, more than 30,000 burglaries are reported annually related to college students, including 15,000 residence hall burglaries, according to government data. And each year, fire departments respond to over 3,800 fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and barracks, according to the NFPA  – about one per campus, per year!

A little common sense with your valuables will go a long way at college (like even though the bathroom is RIGHT THERE and you’re alone at the library… still not smart to leave your laptop unattended for any amount of time…). Taking important precautionary measures will also certainly help reduce your risk. But what if the unexpected happens? For those times, you have options: insurance can help keep you and your stuff protected. If it would be difficult to replace your belongings at school due to theft or damage, you may want to consider how insurance can help.

Homeowners Insurance 🏠
Your parent’s homeowner’s insurance policy could offer you coverage for your personal property while living on campus. However, there are limitations to the coverage it’ll offer, and probably won’t offer you any coverage if you live off-campus. Ask your parents if you can review their policy to see exactly what kinds of things would be covered under their homeowner’s plan. Filing a claim against homeowner’s policies can affect their premium, and they’ll have to consider their deductible too. Try comparing the value and coverage of their current plan with a renters insurance policy.

Renters Insurance 🏢
Renters insurance can be a real life-saver for college students. Thieves on college campuses don’t have to look far to find laptops, smartphones, cash, bicycles, and electronics, a quick walk through the residence hall and it’s all there. Those items, plus clothes, school supplies, and more, can be protected by renters insurance.

Your personal property and liability may benefit from coverage from losses like theft, vandalism, fires, water damage, and more. College life is hectic enough without having to worry about how you’d pay to replace your stuff should something happen. Whether in a dorm or apartment (or anywhere in the world!), your personal belongings can be covered with the right renters insurance coverage. Make sure to check with an agent to learn more about your options. There are student-focused renters insurance plans available as well.

Regardless of what plan you choose, be sure to look for:

  • replacement cost, so you’ll be able to replace your belongings, not just their depreciated value
  • electronics coverage, so all your stuff is sure to be covered
  • check on other special limits – for things like jewelry, cash, musical instruments, to ensure your most prized possessions are protected
  • worldwide coverage, so no matter where you are, the library, spring break, etc. you’ll be covered
  • liability coverage
  • a low deductible

Learn more 📚
For a quick overview about the value of renters insurance for college students, watch this brief video.  Speak with your parents and an insurance agent to discuss options and to find the plan that’s best for you.

Other Safety

Back-to-College Shopping? Don’t Forget to Protect Your Kid’s Stuff

July 30, 2015
back to college shopping protect your stuff

Many college parents have gotten the call. “Mom, my bike was stolen,” or worse, “the fire sprinklers went off in my dorm and my computer and iPad were ruined by the water.”

This year, instead of dealing with the cost of replacing stolen or damaged property, college parents have a convenient and easy answer: renters insurance that contains useful and relevant features for students.

51% of college parents are concerned that theft of personal property could affect their child’s ability to be successful. Before your child heads off to college, come up with a plan for protecting your student’s personal items while there. Just in case something happens during midterms, you’ll be able to act quickly and get your student back on his feet without interrupting his studying.

Insurance is a way to protect your student’s belongings financially in the event of a covered loss, like theft or damage. Like you protect your home with homeowners or renters insurance, your student may also benefit from personal property and liability coverage while away at college.

Does your student really need renters insurance? If your family can afford to replace your students belongings should anything happen, you may not need the coverage. However, for many college families, that can be a large, unexpected expense on top of tuition. Also consider the unique risks students face at school. More than 30,000 burglaries are reported annually related to college students, including 15,000 residence hall burglaries, according to government data. And each year, fire departments respond to over 3,800 fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and barracks, according to the NFPA. That’s about one per campus, every year! The threat these risks pose to your student’s property can be mitigated with certain insurance plans.

 

Evaluate Existing Coverage

Many parents may have some protection through their homeowners insurance. However, many families don’t realize the limitations homeowners insurance may present when covering a child away at college.

There are several key limitations to be aware of when considering relying on your homeowners insurance during the school year. These can vary from policy to policy, as well as from situation to situation. If you are considering using your homeowners insurance for protection at college, it is important that your family check on these possible coverage limitations to avoid going unknowingly uncovered. Read through your policy or call to speak with your agent to understand what your policy will cover for a child at school.

If your family does not have homeowners insurance or your student is not eligible under your homeowners insurance or renters insurance, a renters insurance policy for your student can be a cost-effective alternative that oftentimes offers more and more relevant coverage for a lower price.

When reviewing your homeowners policy, there are several things to look for to ensure it will provide adequate coverage at college.

  1. Check Full-Time Requirement: Review your policy’s eligibility requirements to see if there are any restrictions related to student status – many homeowners policies will cover full-time, but not part-time, college students. If your child is at risk for dropping below full-time status, your child could lose the protection offered by your insurance during the semester. In addition, many homeowners policies, personal property away from the principal residence will be covered only up to ten percent of the policy’s limits.
  1. Check On-Campus Only Restriction: Homeowners insurance policies will only cover eligible students living at school in on-campus housing. Coverage does not normally extend to off-campus housing and can expose your student and family to unexpected losses. If your child is living off-campus, be sure to consider renters insurance, especially since events at the apartment could affect your liability exposure.
  1. Check Age Limits: Also check your policy for any age limits that may exist. Coverage is not normally available for adult children who are not enrolled full-time in college, however, some policies provide coverage to full-time college students under the age of 26.
  1. Check your Deductible: Many families now have a $1,000 deductible for homeowners insurance claims and as a result, small claims by your student may not practically be covered. Most renters insurance policies have a deductible as low as $100 per claim.

 

Is Renters Insurance Right for Your College Student and Family?

Though your child may be eligible for some coverage under your homeowners insurance policy, the nuances of your homeowners coverage can be costly. That could be part of the rationale for 28 state insurance commissioners recommend that students seriously consider renters insurance for their college students.

Even if your student is eligible to receive personal property and liability protection under your homeowners insurance, for an affordable cost, renters insurance is a practical way to protect your investment in a college education. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average annual cost of a renters insurance policy in 2012 was $187 (the most recent data available). In that case, if you choose a low deductible, say $100, if your student has to file a claim, the out-of-pocket cost for the premium and the deductible will be less than your typical homeowners deductible.

More than property coverage, true renters insurance provides both personal property and liability coverage for your student. Therefore, be sure to identify a plan that is not just property coverage but real renters insurance.

Certain colleges and universities now recommend renters insurance coverage for their students and make it convenient for campus residents to purchase. To determine what coverage your student will need while at college use this inventory calculator to identify the cost of replacing them if they were stolen or damaged.

In addition to calculating your coverage needs correctly, be sure to consider a renters insurance plan that includes other relevant features that benefit college students such as:

  1. Replacement Cost: look for a plan that replaces items at replacement cost, not the depreciated value of the item, and one that has electronics coverage up to the policy limits.
  2. Protection Beyond Campus: Consider whether worldwide coverage makes sense for your student, if they are planning on visiting friends studying abroad or going on Spring Break.
  3. No Difficult Student Restrictions: Such as requiring your student to provide a FICO credit score or be 18.

Before the school year begins, be sure to speak with your insurance agent who can help you understand the nuances of your homeowners coverage. You may also want to consider a student-specific plan designed for college life, like GradGuard Renters Insurance, which includes liability and full-replacement cost coverage.

Planning ahead and doing your research can help protect your family financially from losses and damage to your student’s personal property while at school. However, if you choose to protect your student, be confident that you are well prepared to help your student achieve their goal of completing a college education.

Other Safety

What To Do If Your Laptop is Stolen at College

May 22, 2015
What to Do If Your Laptop is Stolen

So you were at the library and got up for a minute… or maybe you left your dorm room door open while running to the bathroom… maybe you went to check on something while you were doing work in the lounge… or maybe your apartment was broken into. Whatever the reason, the laptop you once had is now gone. What do you do?

Having your laptop stolen is the worst. Though it may make you want to curl up in a ball and sleep forever, that’s likely not an option mid-semester when you’ve got papers to write and tests to study for. Instead, follow these tips to regain your sanity and replace your laptop.

This is what you need to do if your laptop is stolen while at college!

File a Police Report

If you’re on-campus, contact campus police to file a report. If you’re off-campus, contact your city or town’s police department to file a report with them. This is important because if your laptop is found, it can be returned, and if you’re filing an insurance claim, you’ll need to have filed a police report first.

Change Your Passwords

If you know you have saved passwords on your laptop or are auto-logged in to sensitive or personal accounts, like your email, Facebook, or bank accounts, get to a computer to change them right away.

Consider Identity Theft Protection

If you’ve stored sensitive information on your laptop, like your credit card numbers and passwords, you may want to consider purchasing Identity Theft Protection to help alert you if someone uses your information to commit fraud. Identity Theft Protection is often offered for a low monthly rate and can provide assistance in resolving any incidents and can also offer insurance for lost funds.

Check on Coverage

Do you have renters insurance policy? If you do, consult your policy to look for a couple things. First, check if there is any limit on electronics coverage and make sure that your laptop doesn’t exceed that amount. Next, check to see if your policy provides “replacement cost.” This will help you determine how you’ll be able to replace the laptop – it’s current depreciated value or the what it would cost to replace said laptop. Replacement cost will provide you with the funds to purchase a new one. Then, check for your deductible. This will be the amount that you’ll have to pay out of pocket to replace your laptop, your insurance will cover the rest.

After you’ve got all this info, you’ll need to file a claim with the insurance company to replace the laptop. Check your policy docs for information on where to send your claims info. According to the Internet (Mint.com), it’ll take about a week or two for the money to come through or your laptop to be replaced. If you purchase Renters Insurance from GradGuard, our underwriter, Markel, will be in touch within 24 hours.

If you don’t have Renters Insurance, talk to your parents about whether you might be covered under their Homeowners Insurance. If you are, and the deductible is lower than the cost to replace the laptop (homeowners’ deductibles tend fall around $500-$1,000), it could make sense to file a claim under their Homeowners Insurance. Keep in mind that filing a claim on their insurance may raise their premium, so it may make sense to just replace it out of pocket, especially if they have a high deductible.

Hopefully you have some coverage, if not, you’ll have to figure out how to replace your laptop on your own. In the meantime, look into your options around campus – there may be computer labs you can use until you are able to get a replacement. Hopefully your assignments were saved some place where you can access them still! Best of luck!

Take the right steps if your laptop gets stolen while at college!

 

Other Safety

Protecting Yourself While Studying Abroad

January 6, 2015

This month, thousands of college students from across the US will take off on study abroad programs for the spring semester (and we are jealous!). The incredible opportunity to study abroad comes with many amazing perks, but, like any great adventure, your trip also has some risks. As you get ready to pack up your life into a couple suitcases and take off for your destination, don’t forget to consider these important coverages to help you manage the risks of studying abroad.

Protecting Your Property During Study Abroad

Being in an unfamiliar place far from home can be disorienting. Whether it’s theft or damage, being unfamiliar with your surroundings can compromise the things you’re bringing abroad with you, since you’ll be less likely to recognize risk. In addition to being diligent, insurance may be able to help you protect your study abroad essentials if you cannot afford to replace them.

Personal property insurance can help you protect your belongings by helping you replace them if you face a loss. You may be able get this coverage from a Renters Insurance policy or even from your parent’s Homeowner’s Insurance, but be sure to check if you are eligible for coverage and eligible for coverage overseas. With Renters Insurance, look for a plan with a low deductible that offers worldwide coverage to make sure you’re covered during your travels. If your parents have Homeowner’s Insurance, check with their agent to see if you are eligible for coverage under their policy as a student, and double check if the coverage will follow you abroad.

 

Protecting Your Health During Study Abroad

Hopefully you’ll have a healthy semester! But if your immune system takes a hit adjusting to a new climate or the stress of classes in a different language, you’ll want to make sure you know what to do! Before leaving for your semester abroad, check with your program to make sure you know where to go if something happens, like a recommended pharmacy or nearby hospital. Also be sure to check with your health insurer to make sure your coverage applies overseas. If not, consider a Health Insurance plan that will cover you overseas. Also, check to see if your Travel Insurance or Health Insurance will cover a medical evacuation, should you need one, while you’re away from home.

 

Driving During Study Abroad

Driving abroad can be dangerous – the rules of the road may vary from what you’re used to back at home. If you must drive while you are there, don’t forget to check if your license is valid in the country you are visiting and whether your Auto Insurance will follow you there. An accident could be quite costly.

 

Protecting Your Itinerary While Studying Abroad

If you’re like many students who study abroad, you’ll be a doing a fair amount of traveling during the semester! Weekends away can add up, so consider Travel Insurance to protect your side trips. Travel Insurance can help refund the cost of your flights if you must cancel your trip for a covered reason, and some plans can help you reschedule cancelled or missed flights. You can also find plans that provide protection for your baggage in case it is lost, helping you replace those items, and plans with medical evacuation included as well.

We wish you a safe trip and happy travels – bon voyage!

Other Safety

New Years in College: How to Stay Safe

December 30, 2014

It’s winter break and a new year? There’s lots to celebrate on New Year’s Eve during college, amirite? Whether you’re celebrating near home with your high school friends, reuniting with your college pals somewhere cool, or spending a chill night around town, there are a few things to be aware of during your celebrations to keep you and your friends safe!

Drunk Driving

Even if you’re not drinking, drunk driving on New Year’s Eve is always something to consider. New Years is the second most fatal day of the year for drunk driving (behind Thanksgiving), so if you’re driving, be extra careful and avoid driving at peak times (after midnight and when the bars close in your city).

If you are drinking,  don’t drive! There are many other alternatives that will ensure you have a fun, safe night. Depending on your plans, take public transportation, designate a driver, take a cab or Uber, stay overnight, get a hotel room – really whatever it is that will keep you off the roads. If you’re attending a house party, make sure to bring an overnight bag in case you overindulge, or have a cab number or the AAA Safe Ride Program programmed in your phone. A couple extra bucks for a cab is way cheaper than a DUI or your life.

If you’re not driving and depending on someone else, take caution and trust your gut. If you think they are too drunk to drive, stay put. You may want to pack an overnight bag if you’re attending a house party, or make sure to download Uber or save a cab number to your phone to get home safely. Don’t be afraid to make the right choice for yourself.

Drinking

New Years and champagne are practically synonymous! While many regard this as a drinking holiday and there can be a lot of pressure to have the “best night ever!” and wear the cutest, littlest, sparkliest dress, excessive drinking brings with it a lot of risks you’d be better off avoiding. Taking it slow, keeping your eye on your friends, and avoiding driving are key for having a fun, but safe holiday.

Wherever you go, whether it’s a house party or a bar, make sure to count your drinks, never leave your drink behind and pick it back up, and alternate drinks with water. You’ll have more fun making sure you have a safe, memorable time, even if you don’t want to the be the one drinking a glass of water on NYE – your friends will envy you in the morning! And always avoid drunk driving!

Stick Together

If you’re somewhere unfamiliar to celebrate, be it a party or a club, try to take advantage of the buddy system and check in on your friends while you’re out. Trust your gut if you get into any strange situations or notice a friend in a weird situation or if a friend seems too intoxicated. Even if you and your friends are underage, if you need to call for help – do it.  Sticking with your group and keeping an eye on one another will make sure that everyone has a safe and fun time – what’s better than ringing in the new year with your besties?

Cold

In many places, New Year’s Eve can be a cold, cold night! Dress for it! The key to staying warm is wearing clothing designed to keep you that way – wear a coat out to the bars, and use coat check to make sure you get it back. You never know how long it’ll take to get a cab home if you’re out, so make sure you have something warm to put on while you wait. If you’re attending an event outside, like a concert, First Night, or fireworks, dress warmly, drink hot liquids, move about, and go inside to warm up if need be.

Keep these tips in mind this NYE as you celebrate a new year! Wishing all our readers a Happy New Year and the very best in 2015!

Other Safety

4 Ways To Protect Yourself at College

August 18, 2014
Tips for protecting yourself at college this year!

College life has many risks – this year don’t be a statistic and make sure you’re protected heading into this school year. There are many ways to ensure you will have a safe, healthy semester. Here are four risk areas where you may be vulnerable and ideas on how you can protect yourself!

1. Protecting Your Stuff

You bring a lot of stuff with you to college, as well as some pretty expensive items. Your laptop, smartphone and bike can add up. What if one or all of those was stolen or damaged? You’re looking at a hefty price tag to replace those items, and likely on a college budget.

Being diligent about protecting your stuff can help – always lock your door, never leave your things unattended, avoid bringing valuables to school and stow your belongings safely to keep them in top condition. You may also want to look into engraving certain belongings and getting a lock for your bike and laptop, as well as a safe for any valuables you must bring along.

Besides taking good care of your possessions at school, consider insurance to help you protect your belongings. Talk with your parents to see if they have a homeowners insurance plan that will cover you, and if it makes sense for your family to use that as your financial protection for your things while at school. Consider the deductibles as they compare to the cost of your more expensive college necessities as well as whether a claim filed for your belongings would affect their premium. If you do not qualify under their coverage or decide it’s not a good fit, consider renters insurance.

2. Protecting Your Health

Hopefully you’ll have a happy and healthy school year, so make sure to take care of yourself! Ensuring that you get enough sleep, enough water, eat right and take time to relax and de-stress will go a long way to staying healthy at school. Taking care to wash your hands and maintain proper hygiene and cleanliness in the dorms will help you fend off germs and lower your chances of catching something going around the dorms, like the flu or a cold.

In addition to healthy habits, health insurance can help students protect themselves from the costs of healthcare should an illness or injury occur. Talk with your parents and an insurance agent to determine what kind of plan is right for you – if you’re under 26 you may opt to stay on your parent’s plan, your school may offer a plan or you may be eligible to enroll via the health insurance Marketplace.

3. Protecting Your Tuition Dollars

For many families, college is a large investment. Many families also don’t know much about the details of their school’s refund policy in the event of a medical withdrawal from school. Accidents, illness and mental illnesses can be disruptive to a students’ education, and many schools do not refund 100% of tuition after a few weeks into the semester. Tuition refund insurance can help complement a school’s refund policy if you are forced to withdraw for medical reasons.

4. Protecting Yourself on the Move

Travel is a part of life for many college students – whether it’s commuting, traveling away to school or studying abroad. There are many different types of insurance and benefits that can help students protect themselves while traveling or while away. Some protections to consider are travel insurance for trips, emergency medical evacuation if you’re traveling somewhere remote, family emergency travel protection if you’re far from home and roadside assistance if you have a car on campus. Some student benefit plans combine many of these protections in one product, like the Student Protection Plan.

How do you stay safe at school?

Other Safety

Have a Beautiful Room at College? Protect It!

August 14, 2014
Protecting All Your Stuff at College in 3 Steps!

{image via @dormify}

Pinterest has opened my eyes to a world where it is possible to have a gorgeous residence hall room. Who cares if cinderblock walls are your background, there are some seriously design savvy dorm rooms out there just waiting to be recreated. Your residence hall room is, afterall, your home for the next nine or so months – just because it’s small doesn’t mean you can’t maximize your space and make a room you and your roommate will love!

Dormify, Wayfair and the like make it possible to have a gorgeous room for slightly less than a fortune, too.  Even with budget finds, the stuff you bring to your residence hall room adds up. What if the boys down the hall set off the building sprinkler system while playing catch inside? How would you replace all your stuff?

Luckily, there are things you can do to prevent theft and damage to your belongings as well as ways to protect yourself financially. A little bit of common sense, checking your parents homeowners insurance coverage and considering renters insurance are all ways to help keep your residence hall beautiful and your school supplies and clothes safe.

Be Smart About Your Stuff

Unfortunately, having a beautifully detailed residence hall room with a door that’s always open is basically an advertisement for getting robbed. A little bit of caution can go a long way in protecting your stuff. Always lock your door and make sure your roommate does too. It’s tempting to keep your door open on a friendly hallway, but you never know who’s been let into the building. Never leave your belongings unattended, whether it’s in the hallway lounge or the library. Consider engraving your big ticket items – like your TV, laptop and bike – so they can be identified more easily, and also consider a lock for laptop and bike.

Talk to Your Parents About Homeowners Insurance

Insurance can help you replace your belongings if they are damaged or stolen. If your parents have homeowners insurance you may get coverage under that policy and won’t require any additional coverage. Talk with your parents to see if you qualify under their specific policy. Many homeowners policies will only cover full-time students under the age of 24 who live on campus. If you drop down to part-time or get an off-campus apartment, you may not be covered. Don’t forget to talk with your parents about their deductible and whether a claim on your bike at school could affect their premium. Many homeowners policies feature $500 or $1,000 deductibles, which may be too high to replace your bedding or tablet.

Consider Renters Insurance

A big deterrent for college students when considering renters insurance is cost. Another bill on top of everything college seems like too much. What most students and their families don’t realize is that you can get good coverage for your belongings for less than the price of a pizza per month. Your daily coffee run adds up to much more per month than the cost of renters insurance! And unlike coffee or pizza, renters insurance can help replace your belongings if they are stolen or damaged by a covered event.

When searching for a renters insurance plan, be sure to look for certain features suited to college life. Consider both personal property protection as well as personal liability protection. A plan with liability coverage can help protect you financially if someone injures themselves in your residence or if you unintentionally cause damage to your residence. Look for plans with replacement cost, good coverage for your electronics, and if you will be traveling throughout the semester, consider a plan with worldwide coverage.

Renters insurance doesn’t make sense for everyone, especially if you get good coverage through your parents homeowners insurance. You may not have much to replace or you may be able to afford to replace your things. Taking an inventory of your belongings (preferably before you head to school ;)) can help you decided whether renters insurance makes sense for your lifestyle and budget. Wondering how much your stuff is worth? Estimate it with this handy Renters Calculator tool!

Other Safety

Important College Safety Tips

August 6, 2014
Important Campus Safety Tips for College Students - must read!

Hopefully, your campus community feels safe and like home once you arrive on campus. However, sometimes that sense of community can be deceiving. Whether yours is in the midst of a big city or set back from a college town, there are steps you can take to enhance your personal security while on (and off) campus. Keep these tips in mind this semester to help keep yourself and your friends safe.

Know Who to Call

Your college likely has many, many resources available to keep you safe and healthy. Campus police, peer groups, staff counselors, staff nurses, deans, RA’s… those are just a few of the people on campus there to help you stay safe. Make sure you have all campus and local emergency numbers saved in your phone, as well as the number for any campus-offered rides if ever you need to be picked up.

Be Aware

It’s easy to let your guard down when you’re in your dorm or wandering through your familiar campus, but basic safety precautions should never be ignored. Lock the door to your room, walk with friends at night especially if you are heading through an unsafe area, and always make sure you have a safe, sober ride.

While your personal safety is of the utmost importance, don’t forget about other areas. Social media can leave you vulnerable if you’re oversharing and can lead to ID Theft.  Don’t leave your valuables exposed – whether it’s in your unlocked dorm room, at the library while you’re grabbing a coffee or in your car. Check with your parents to see if your stuff is covered by their homeowners insurance. If not, consider renters insurance just in case – a stolen laptop will cost you and renters insurance can help.

Know Yourself and Trust Your Gut

College may be the first time you’re tasting independence. It’s your job to take care of yourself. There’s a lot to keep track of in college life, but make sure you have the essentials in an accessible place. This health checklist from College Parents of America is super helpful.

In addition to having campus numbers and all your own important information, get to know your campus. Large or small, in your first few weeks acquaint or re-acquaint yourself with it’s layout and how to get to key points from most areas on campus. Get to know the safety features of your new dorm or apartment and be sure to always be cautious holding the door for others.

If you choose to party, know your limits and make sure you are with friends you trust. It is easy to meet new people and trust them like an old friend, but it is wise to be cautious, especially as a freshman. If you feel something is off, trust yourself, whether its upon meeting someone or traveling somewhere on campus.

Take Care of Yourself

Often overlooked when discussing safety, but an important step in making sure you are safe is striving to be healthy and happy. Carve out time this school year to devote to de-stressing and staying fit. Regular walks or gym sessions, eating your veggies and taking some time to yourself to relax will help you help you be more alert when you need to be as well as ensure you stay healthy throughout the semester. With illnesses like colds, the flu or mono that can pass quickly through the dorms, being prepared is your best defense. A clear mind will help you make good choices this semester.

We wish you a safe semester. Do you have any safety tips to add?

Other Safety

8 Tips to Protect College Students from ID Theft

July 31, 2014

With young adults making up the largest percentage of the population affected by Identity Theft, it’s safe to say this is an issue college students should be concerned about. Though spending time online is a large part of college life for both studying and socializing and may feel safe, some habits can leave you vulnerable to identity theft.

While you’re probably never going to give up your social accounts, do exercise caution when posting sensitive information, like your location or birthdate, and when joining the wi-fi networks at your school or the local coffee shop. This article by KGW offers several helpful tips for students that can help protect you from ID theft at school, at home and wherever else you may go:

Here’s a summary of the 8 tips offered by iovation:

  • The Internet is forever; think about future employers, including those coveted summer internships.
  • Don’t add your address to your Facebook profile.
  • Don’t broadcast your location; checking-in is fine, just do it sparingly.
  • Don’t “friend” people you don’t know.
  • Guard your Social Security number. Always. It’s like a winning lottery ticket for a scammer, fraudster or identity thief.
  • Don’t use the same password everywhere. Consider using an “all-in-one” password manager.
  • Beware of emails phishing for personal information. Never give credit card info, usernames, passwords or other personal info.
  • Be Wi-Fi savvy and safe. Free Wi-Fi comes at the cost of security. Unsecured networks are gold mines for identity thieves.

These tips can help you and your money stay secure, but even being diligent may not be able to help you avoid identity theft. If you are concerned, consider an Identity Theft Protection Plan. These types of plans can help you resolve instances of identity theft more quickly with enhanced monitoring and insurance for lost funds.

Other Safety

Tax Returns- Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

April 3, 2014

The IRS reports that identity theft is among the fastest growing crimes in the country. Between 2011 and 2012, they more than doubled their number of employees dedicated to identity theft cases. Considering how much is done online today—from registering for events to buying just about anything, it’s not too hard to believe. You’ve probably entered your bank account, social security, and credit card numbers online plenty of times and not thought much of it. However, given the serious threat of identity theft, it’s important to be very careful when and where you use your personal information online. Tax season, which runs from January 1st to April 15th, is a particularly risky time for identity theft. With everyone filing their tax returns, documents like W-2 forms and bank statements are being submitted online and mailed out like clockwork. That’s a lot of important financial information circulating at one time. Identity thieves know this, and want to work it to their advantage. So what can you do to keep your information safe as a college student?

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