“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Franklin was a pioneer in financial education and often oozed witty, yet practical wisdom. In fact, the man attributed with “a penny saved, is a penny earned” even authored one of the first widely-published financial advice pieces. Franklin understood the value of financial education — and made it a life mission to empower individuals through knowledge.
It’s the good fight many financial institutions stand at the forefront of today. However, today’s financial literacy carries a few more challenges that weren’t necessarily part of the equation in Franklin’s day.
Case in point? The growing rate of fraud and identity theft.
The Critical Need: Fraud and Identity Theft Education
The Identity Theft Resource Center recently released their annual Identity Theft: Aftermath report. The study takes a deeper look into the effects of identity theft by investigating its day-to-day impact on victims.
The findings showed a vital need to improve educational efforts — with consumers actually decreasing adoption of preventative measures, like using strong passwords or protecting sensitive personal information.
● Three-quarters of consumers use public Wi-Fi
● Half of consumers do not password-protect their smartphones
● Half of consumers carry their Social Security number on them
These are clear identity protection no-no’s, but the dangers of these actions are rarely top-of-mind for consumers. Unfortunately, identity theft is usually thought of only after someone becomes a victim.
A reactive approach does little to combat the crime. It can often lead to lengthier, costlier resolution processes. By empowering individuals with fraud and identity theft education, financial institutions can groom account holders to better prevent and detect identity crimes.
What is identity theft education?
Identity theft education focuses on protection tips for a wide range of physical and cyber threats to your personally identifiable information (PII). It also encompasses a large spectrum of general knowledge of topics such as scams, data breaches, password best practices, social engineering and payment card fraud.
At EZShield, fraud and identity theft education is at the core of our world-class identity protection services. Our in-house experts share educational content regularly on our blog Fighting Identity Crimes. We have accumulated an award-winning collection of protection resources. Plus, this content offers an engaging way for consumers to regain control of their personal information.
How has this initiative made such a big impact? By taking a S.M.A.R.T approach to financial education.
Financial Education Best Practices: Keep it S.M.A.R.T
While keeping content S.M.A.R.T can help recharge your fraud and identity theft prevention resources, it doesn’t have to stop there. You can apply the S.M.A.R.T concept to all of your financial education initiatives.
Topics can be complex, so ensure your content is easy to understand. Humanize topics and always use real world examples to illustrate problems. As always, steer clear of any industry jargon.
Hit topics consumers actually care about. While taking an investigative look at global BitCoin fraud would certainly be interesting, it really doesn’t offer much help to the average person. Keep your audience in mind when crafting your content calendar.
How your content is distributed is just as important as what it’s about. Create an action plan for content distribution. An online blog, social media post, email newsletter, or printed handout are all viable avenues to get your message out. But why stop at just one? Leverage multiple communication channels to make sure your content is accessible to your audience.
Fear mongering and misinformation has haunted the financial education world for years — and it needs to be stopped. Don’t use scare-based tactics to get your audience engaged. Give them the right information and position yourself as a trusted, reliable source of education.
Stay current with industry happenings to ensure you’re providing the most impactful education possible. At EZShield, our experts do this through timely data breach and scam alerts.
A Partner in Education
Need help launching your program? Reach out to our team to schedule a demo of EZShield Identity Protection. You’ll learn how we pair world-class services with award-winning education. Most of all, our experts will work with you to understand your goals and help you align an engaging, empowering identity protection program with your roadmap.
Existing partners seeking a rich source of S.M.A.R.T content? Don’t forget to use our Live Fraud Feed to relay posts from Fighting Identity Crimes right from your website. Download the Live Fraud Feed data sheet for more information.
Now It’s Time to Get Started!
Nothing is more exciting then launching your own education initiative. So, tell us…
● Which topics are you currently brainstorming?
● What resources do you already have for account holders?
● What are some of the biggest challenges you foresee?
Share your thoughts in the comments below! We’d love to hear your stories.