Inside TDV - The Data Vault Blog
Who’s Being You Online?
In our modern day society, everything is connected. The barriers between payment, merchandise, services, and information are all being broken down at an ever-increasing pace, but with that comes new risks and forms of crime. As it becomes easier to exchange sensitive information, it also becomes easier to intercept and acquire that same information through insider knowledge of the networks it travels upon. These impersonators often use the information to open credit cards, take out large debts, and generally use your likeness to access banking system for illicit gain.
In the United States, someone has their identity stolen a staggering every 2 seconds. An additional study found that 13.1 million Americans had their information stolen in 2013, even before the overwhelming amount of consumer data lost in the Target data breach. This suggests a problem of epidemic proportions, and the question would stand to be asked: why are people not changing their habits as a result of these instances?
The problem isn’t lack of publicity, major media conglomerates regularly run articles and information pertaining to cyber crime and identity theft. However, despite plenty of outrage average people rarely do anything as a result of these issues, continuing the cycle that led to them in the first place. Over at the non-profit Identity Theft Resource Center, there are excellent guides to keeping your information safe on the internet in the first place. One of the main resources is their SHRED recommendations:
Strengthen passwords to at least 8 characters long with alpha-numeric
Handle personal identifying information carefully (Social Security Number or other forms)
Read credit reports carefully – you are entitled to (1) free credit report per year over here
Empty your purse or wallet, don’t carry more information than necessary
Discuss these tips with other people, knowledge and education are key
With these tips in mind and increased diligence in regards to your finance, your risk of identity theft decreases and hopefully your information will remain secure!