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10.04.2011 / How to protect your identity during a disaster.

Weather related disasters such as tornadoes, flooding and fires often force many victims to restart their lives from scratch. That is why It is important to put together an action plan to ensure you have access to important documents and to help avoid potential identity theft.

"In the aftermath of a disaster the last thing you should have to worry about is identity theft"

Keep original and photocopies of important documents in a safe place
Store original copies of important documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, adoption papers, divorce papers, wills, deeds, titles and bonds in a safe deposit box. Also keep copies of these documents in a portable, fireproof safe that you are able to take and keep with you in case of an emergency.
 
Store important files and information electronically
Sign up for paperless statements to store your records electronically. First National Bank offers paperless statements and online banking allowing you to securely view your account information at any time.  If possible, store additional files containing your personal information on an external hard drive instead of on your home computer. In case of an emergency or evacuation, you will be able to take the hard drive with you, eliminating the chance that the information gets into someone else’s hands.
 
Receive protection against fraud
Use a check card or credit card with a Zero Liability Policy*. Funds taken from your account due to fraudulent use will be returned to your account.  If you lose your card during a disaster, be sure to report it to your financial institution immediately.

In the aftermath of a disaster, the last thing you should have to worry about is identity theft. These measures can help ensure that you, and only you, are able to access your personal information.

*Visa’s Zero Liability policy covers U.S. issued cards only and does not apply to ATM transactions, PIN transactions not processed by Visa or certain commercial card transactions. Cardholder must notify issuer promptly of any unauthorized use. Consult issuer for additional details or visit www.visa.com/security.
 

Posted at 01:59 PM | Permalink
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