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You Wouldn't Even Think of Posting Your Social Security Number Online, But It's Possible Somebody Else Already Has

You would probably be surprised at how much of your personal information is already on the dark web. I know I was. Here's what I did about it.

MR MyHECM.com

By Mike Roberts, Founder of MyHECM.com

January 23, 2023

How to Protect Your Credit and Identity

It's shocking how vulnerable our personal information is to theft

Hi, my name is Mike Roberts and I'm the founder of MyHECM.com. I was shocked when I learned how vulnerable the typical American's personal information is to theft. 


As I thought about the possible consequences of a stolen identity, I became even more concerned. Identity theft could wreck my credit and make it harder (and more expensive) to qualify for a loan or mortgage. 


That's bad enough, but it wasn't what I was most concerned about.


I need good credit to get the professional licensing my livelihood depends on. If identity theft wrecks my credit, it will be harder to support my family. Obviously, that is not OK.

Sensitive personal information is stored on countless computers that are potentially vulnerable to data breaches

You're probably very careful about giving out your Social Security number, right? I am as well! Unfortunately, it may not ultimately matterYou can do everything right to protect your personal information, but it can still be compromised by the mistakes and negligence of others.


Think about all the companies you've worked for or have purchased products and services from in your lifetime. There's probably hundreds or thousands of them, right? Not all of them store personal information, but many of them do. And it's often highly sensitive personal information such as Social Security numbers, addresses, account numbers, passwords, PINs, etc.


Employers, healthcare providers, accountants, tax preparers, insurance companies, utilities, banks, lenders, payroll providers, retirement account custodians, etc., all store highly sensitive personal information. It takes just a single data breach at one of these companies to compromise your personal information and expose it to identity thieves.


Credit repositories like Equifax, Transunion, and Experian store huge amounts of sensitive personal information. So do government agencies like the Social Security Administration, IRS, Veterans Administration, DMV, unemployment office, etc.


Our personal information is everywhere. It's stored on countless computers attached to networks that are potentially vulnerable to data breaches.


And it's not just your personal information, it's personal information for your children, too. Healthcare providers, educational institutions, insurance companies, and employers also store sensitive information on your kids.


Here's the bottom line: there is no way so much personal information stored on so many computers can be secure 100% of the time.

Unfortunately, data breaches happen all the time

Government agencies and corporations spend billions on data security, but data breaches still occur regularly. Here are a few recent examples:

  • Uber reported a breach in late 2022 that exposed sensitive information on thousands of employees.
  • Medibank, a large Australian health insurance company, reported a data breach in November 2022. Highly personal information for over 4 million customers was compromised. Yikes!
  • In October 2022, Coastal Cardiology in Georgia reported a breach in a "legacy" (i.e., oldcomputer system that compromised sensitive patient information.

Folks, these examples are just a drop in the bucket. I could dig up hundreds more. 


All it takes to compromise your personal information is for one boneheaded employee at your bank or insurance company to fall for a phishing scam, forget to turn on a security setting, or send a sensitive fax to the wrong number.


Unfortunately, this kind of stuff happens all the time. Over 15 million Americans had their identities stolen in 2021 alone


Again, you can do everything right to protect your identity, but it may not ultimately matter. Your personal information can still be compromised by the negligence and mistakes of others

If your identity is stolen, the consequences can be devastating

If your identity is stolen because of a data breach, you could face a tedious, time-consuming, and expensive clean up process that can take years to complete. I know this because I've talked with people who have gone through it. Folks, it's not fun!


Identity theft can destroy your credit and make it more difficult (and expensive) to get a mortgage, car loan, or credit card. It may also be more difficult to get a job, professional certification, security clearance, apartment, or even just cell phone service.


Identity theft can also result in stolen tax refunds, drained bank accounts, and legal headaches over fraudulent debts taken out in your name.


In short, identity theft can be a nightmare to clean up.

It's not enough to just be careful about who you give your Social Security number to

Over 147 million Americans had highly sensitive personal information compromised in the infamous 2017 Equifax data breach. I'm sure most of those people were very careful about protecting their personal information, but it didn't ultimately matter. Their personal information was still compromised. 


You can do everything right to protect your personal information (and that of your kids), but it can still be compromised by the mistakes and negligence of others. 

If my personal information is vulnerable no matter how carefully I protect it, how can I protect myself and my family? 

Here's the good news: there is a way - and it's what I rely on to protect my own family.


Again, we can control what we do to protect our personal information, but we can't control what others do (or don't do) to protect our personal information. That's why it's critical to protect your family from  the mistakes and negligence of others.


If you don't, you and your family may be sitting ducks for identity thieves. 


We already protect our families against the financial consequences of house fires, car accidents, and catastrophic illnesses. Why wouldn't we also protect our families against the devastating consequences of identity theft?


How I protect my own family


Ten years ago, I discovered a simple and effective solution that has protected my family ever since. 

I think it could work well for your family, too.


Yes, I still get notices that my personal information was compromised in yet another data breach. I hate getting those notices, but at least I don't have to worry because I know my family is protected.


Before I go on, let me say something important: what I use to protect my family is great, but it has it's limitations. It can't guarantee you'll never be a victim of identity theft. Frankly, nothing can. It's not possible to prevent all identity theft any more than it's possible to prevent all car accidents. 


However, it is possible to significantly reduce the risk and consequences of identity theft. And if you do happen to be victimized, it's even possible to hand the big stinking mess to somebody else and let them clean it up for you. 


How cool is that? Would that ease your mind about the threat of identity theft? I know it did for me!


Here's what I use to protect my own family from the threat of identity theft:


Zander Identity Theft Protection


Dave Ramsey-endorsed Zander Identity Theft Protection is the simple, effective, and reliable solution I've used to protect my family for over ten years now. Their customer service is great (they always answer the phone), their system is easy to use, and the protection they provide is excellent.

Comprehensive protection for the cost of a barebones credit monitoring service

In my opinion, Zander is a bargain. And it's not just another credit monitoring service, either. You get comprehensive protection for what many barebones credit monitoring services charge. Check out what Zander offers you:

  • Coverage for all types of ID theft
  • Home title fraud coverage
  • Unlimited recovery services
  • $1,000,000 in coverage for stolen funds and expenses
  • Personal information dark web monitoring
  • Social Security number monitoring
  • Change of address monitoring
  • Data breach updates
  • Lost wallet service
  • 24/7/365 customer and recovery services

For a few bucks more per month, you can protect your entire family. Zander also offers an Elite Bundle (which is what I have) for an additional (but very reasonable) cost that includes a VPN and antivirus for all of your devices.


In my opinion, it's a fantastic deal!

Don't be a sitting duck for identity thieves

Folks, I was stunned when Zander showed me my own personal information that was already on the dark web. This could be the case for you as well - and it's something you should definitely be concerned about.


Remember, data breaches happen all the time. Your personal information may already be out there. It's not enough to just be careful about who you give your personal information to.


If you're not protected, you're potentially a sitting duck for identity thieves. Don't leave your family unprotected for another minute. Get protected now!

MR MyHECM.com

"I have personally used Dave Ramsey-endorsed Zander Identity Theft Protection to protect my family for over ten years now. Zander's service, prices, and protection are excellent."

Mike Roberts
Founder, MyHECM.com

P.S. Don't be a sitting duck for identity thieves a moment longer. Data breaches happen all the time. Will the next data breach compromise your personal information? Protect your family now!

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