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    Personal Insurance Blog

    Boat Theft Prevention

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Insurance

    Mon, Feb 13, 2017 @ 11:40 AM

    Protect your vehicle and prevent identity theft with watercraft insurance from Andrew Gordon IncWhen you’re driving your car, how many times do you leave the key in the ignition or the engine running if you’re not there? Never, right? So why do people leave the keys to their boats in the ignition, or leave their boat running while they go to grab fishing poles from their car?

    What is the Danger?

    If I’m wondering it, then thieves are wondering it as well. Boat theft is one of the most underrated forms of vehicular theft in the United States. But just because it’s underrated doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen frequently. Experts estimate that at least 1000 boats are stolen per month, less than half of which are recovered.

    Preventative Steps

    Here are some steps you can take to keep the harbor hooligans away from your beautiful boat:

    1. Never leave the keys in your boat.
    2. Keep your boat in a well guarded, well lit area – This one is common sense.
    3. Consider investing in an emergency kill-switch or alarm for your boat – this is one of the most straightforward and effective ways to protect against boat theft.
    4. Consider also prop locks and wheel locks.
    5. Scratch your Driver’s license number in a hidden place (such as under the engine cover) – This will give the police a way to identify the boat as yours if stolen.

    When times are tough, criminals get tougher.

    Learn more about watercraft insurance here.

    Contact Us
    Corbin Foucart

    Tags: theft, insurance, boating, boat, South American, groups, prevention, Vehicle, identity

    Identity Theft Prevention: College

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Insurance

    Wed, Feb 01, 2017 @ 11:26 AM

    describe the imageCollege provides a whole new world to students along with independence and a perspective into the “real world”. However, in order to do this, many college students find themselves sharing personal space with many people that they don’t know. Here are some helpful hints for college teens to ward off identity thieves.

    Mail

    College students are constantly out and about; trips, vacations, and time away from school leave personal mail to ferment in student mailboxes.  Make sure your teen doesn’t leave mail lying around, and have him or her cancel any mail during vacations or holidays.

    Personal Possessions

    It is a myth that identity theft occurs over the internet with the disclosure of online account numbers and passwords. A large portion of identity thieves make an honest living by rolling up their sleeves and stealing identification the old-fashioned way. Make sure your teen carefully guards his or her computer, wallet, or purse. One moment of carelessness can lead to devastating consequences.  Here's one strategy when several students live together: let one laptop take one for the team for general browsing, but never for on-line transactions or access to secure accounts.  Checking the hours of the cafe is one thing; but for on-line banking, use your own secure machine.

    Personal Questions:

    Many college students are not suspicious about requests for personal information, especially when it seems to come from a legitimate source, such as a landlord or dormitory. Advise your teen to always question the need to reveal personal information. Additionally, make sure your teen NEVER USES SCHOOL COMPUTERS TO CONDUCT BUSINESS, such as online banking or logging in. Taking identification information from public computer terminals is easier for identity thieves than taking candy (and social security number) from a baby.

    Shredders

    One of the best ways to dispose of personal documents such as mail and bills is to use a shredder. They’re cheap, and generally eliminate the possibility of a thief recovering documents from the trash.

    Facebook 

    Using Facebook is an activity that many college students would not feel normal without. However, thieves can use the public information to gain access to a student’s identity. A common misconception is that a Facebook profile is visible only to friends; a remarkable amount of information can be recovered with a simple google search for a profile. Here are a few things to leave off your profile:

    Date of birth- Everyone likes getting notifications on their birthday, but leave the year out, or change the date to another day of the month.  One of the most common ways to validate credit information over the phone is through date of birth. Don’t let yours land on the internet.

    Travel Plans- Posting Vacation times or specific plans alerts both identity and regular thieves as to when your college student is away, and/or their location. Don’t extend the thieves a written invitation to burglarize a dorm or make a trip to the bank. They might be closer than your teen suspects.

    DON’T POST A PERSONAL PHONE NUMBER OR ADDRESS ON A FACEBOOK PAGE, except possibly your phone,  for Friends ONLY.

    And NEVER, ever, ever post your mother’s maiden name on your page (the most asked security question online); you are handing your online transactions over to identity thieves on a silver platter.

    2-Step Verification

    In light of the recent theft of celebrity photos from on-line accounts, assume that nothing kept on your mobile device is truly private.  But to secure your personal information further, use 2-step verification.  This is a feature where you can have the host (Google, LinkedIn, etc.) text another device (such as your smart phone) a one time code to access your account. Use this at least for whenever a new device tries to access your account, such as when you're traveling or accessing from another network. This is similar to the need for two keys to access your safe deposit box at the bank:  Two steps may take time, but isn't your private information worth protecting?

    Learn more about personal safety and insurance tips here.

    INSURANCE QUESTION?    

    Corbin Foucart

    Tags: theft, id, prevention, college, identity

    Identity Theft – Tricks of the Trade

    Posted by Geoffrey Gordon

    Tue, Jul 10, 2012 @ 09:23 AM

    Use of credit cards, bank accounts, and other electronic monetary transactions are a necessity in today’s world. An unfortunate side effect of this otherwise wonderful technology is the prevalence of identity theft. Previously a small and isolated type of crime, this type of theft has become ubiquitous in a world where money is wired from account to account, and most personal information is handled digitally. News of medical records ending up in landfills reminds us that our privacy is not always within our control.

    But this does not mean you can’t be vigilant and prepared.  Here’s a great checklist from Reader’s Digest developed by former identity thieves to show you discreet ways criminals can help themselves to your money: 

    Learn the basics of protecting yourself from identity theft and cover yourself with personal from andrew gordon inc norwell ma13 Things an Identity Thief Won’t Tell You

    1. Watch your back. In line at the grocery store, I’ll hold my phone like I’m looking at the screen and snap your card as you’re using it. Next thing you know, I’m ordering things online—on your dime.
    2. That red flag tells the mail carrier—and me—that you have outgoing mail. And that can mean credit card numbers and checks I can reproduce.
    3. Check your bank and credit card balances at least once a week. I can do a lot of damage in the 30 days between statements.
    4. In Europe, credit cards have an embedded chip and require a PIN, which makes them a lot harder to hack. Here, I can duplicate the magnetic stripe technology with a $50 machine.
    5. If a bill doesn’t show up when it’s supposed to, don’t breathe a sigh of relief. Start to wonder if your mail has been stolen.
    6. That’s me driving through your neighborhood at 3am on trash day. I fill my trunk with bags of garbage from different houses, then sort later.
    7. You throw away the darnedest things—             preapproved credit card applications, old bills, expired credit cards, checking account deposit slips, and crumpled up job or loan applications with all your personal information.
    8. If you see something that looks like it doesn’t belong on the ATM or sticks out from the card slot, walk away. That’s the skimmer I attached to capture your card information and PIN.
    9. Why don’t more of you call 888-5-OPTOUT to stop banks from sending you preapproved credit offers? You’re making it way too easy for me.
    10. I use your credit cards all the time, and I never get asked for ID. A helpful hint: I’d never use a credit card with a picture on it.
    11. I can call the electric company, pose as you, and say, “Hey, I thought I paid this bill. I can’t remember—did I use my Visa or MasterCard? Can you read me back that number?” I have to be in character, but it’s unbelievable what they’ll tell me.
    12. Thanks for using your debit card instead of your credit card. Hackers are constantly breaking into retail databases, and debit cards give me direct access to your banking account.
    13. Love that new credit card that showed up in your mailbox. If I can’t talk someone at your bank into activating it (and I usually can), I write down the number and put it back. After you’ve activated the card, I start using it.

    Sources: Former identity thieves in Kentucky, Florida, Indiana, Virginia, and New York.
    From Reader’s Digest – September 2010 

    Protect yourself and your bank account from identity theft with these tips from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell maIf you should become a victim of identity theft, be sure to contact your financial institutions to report the problem.  Many insurance companies offer ID Theft Recovery coverage either as an automatic coverage or for a small charge.    

    *13 Things An Identity Thief Won’t Tell You | 13 Things | Reader’s Digest. Reader’s Digest Magazine Articles. Sept. 2010. Web. 31 Aug. 2010. . 

    Even if all these steps are noted and taken advantage of, there is a chance you may still become a victim. Fortunately, many homeowners’ insurance companies offer assistance in reclaiming your identity.  If you’re not sure that your homeowners insurance includes ID theft coverage, contact us.  It isn’t expensive and will save you a ton of time and money if some sly thief absconds in the middle of the night with your identity. 

    Wish to discuss this topic further with a Gordon Atlantic Insurance professional?  Call us toll free at 1-800-649-3252.  Prefer to type versus talk?  Click below!

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    Tags: theft, Business, coverage, protection, credit, card, recovery, MasterCard, protect, identity, Financial, services, atm, debit

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