ID theft prevention tips offered by Maplewood Sauk Prairie comes from Secura Insurance Companies September 2014 article called 8 tips for preventing ID theft in a social world.  Maplewood Health & Rehabilitation Center’s goal is to promote safe independent living.


8 tips for preventing ID theft in a social world


Immediate access to cell phones and GPS devices may provide a sense of security, but these technologies also feed identity thieves’ morsels of information they are eager to devour.  With a few precautions, you can rely on electronic devices without being a victim of identity theft.  Here is how:


  1. Do not respond to suspicious texts.  Text messages that ask for personal information, like your social security number, debit card, PIN, or bank account number are virtually NEVER legitimate.  Contact the sender by phone to verify the identity.
  2. Store contacts by first names.  By listing contacts as Mom, Hubby, or Home, you are inviting a thief to contact them for personal information.  Thieves can quickly text Hubby to find out, “What’s our bank PIN number again?” before he knows your phone was stolen.
  3. Delete sensitive data.  If you plan to sell your phone, delete your personal data.  If you are unsure how to delete your pictures, passwords or contacts, bring your phone to your network provider’s retail store and ask for assistance.
  4. Download ringtones from reputable sites.  In order to capture personal data, identity thieves create phony sites that claim to offer ringtones and other downloads.
  5. Do not store your home address on your GPS.  An identity thief – or burglar – who steals a GPS can find your home and feel comfortable knowing you won’t return if you store your schedule on the same device.
  6. Carry electronic devices separately.  A cell phone, GPS and wallet make a great combination.  If you carry all of them together – in a purse for example – you leave a thief with the needed information to steal your identity.
  7. Lock your phone.  If your cell phone has a passcode or other type of security lock, use it – at least when you’re in a public place.  Then if you do lose it, you’ll feel a little more secure.
  8. Do not share too much on social networking sites.  A message on a social networking site stating that you will be on vacation for the next two weeks is an invitation to burglarize your unattended home and rummage through your mail and other personal information.  Never list a full birth date.  This is key information for an identity thief to use to set up false accounts.

Maplewood of Sauk City Advocates Conscientious Cell Phone Use While Driving.  We are sharing Secura Insurance Companies published September 2014 article about how cell phones distract drivers.


Ditch the Phone:  Distracted driving a killer


Three big myths surround the topic of distracted driving:

1.            I am able to safely text and drive.

2.            Only younger drivers have texting-and-driving accidents.

3.            It’s safe for me to drive while talking on the phone, as long as it’s a hands-free device.


These statements couldn’t be further from the truth based on numerous studies, but countless drivers still turn to their phones when they’re on the road.  If you’re one of them, we urge you to join us in our efforts to curb distracted driving.  Maybe these points will help change your habits:

  • Using hands-free phone slows your reaction time so much that you’re more likely to crash than if you were operating a vehicle with a .08 blood alcohol content.
  • You are four times more likely to be involved in an auto accident if you’re on the phone.
  • We offer discounts to our safest drivers.  Call your agent to learn more.


What you can do to help.

  • Change your voicemail to let people know you are driving.
  • Silence your phone or place it in airplane mode while you’re driving – and put it some place you’re not tempted to pick it up.
  • Pull over to use your phone if making a call is necessary.