Check out SEI’s latest Monthly Tech Tips release below:
Identity theft, like virtually all forms of cybercrime, has seen a resurgence during the COVID-19 crisis. And while everybody knows about the harm ID theft can cause, many computer users fail to address the basics. Here are some things to be aware of:
Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. On average, each victim spends 100 to 200 hours over a six-month period trying to resolve an identity fraud issue. While the common conception is that identity thieves are online scammers, evidence indicates that up to 50% of all reported cases involve theft committed by a neighbor, co-worker, or family member. Most cases can be resolved with minimal long-term impacts if they are caught early.
What’s considered personal information
- Social Security number
- Driver’s license number
- Credit card numbers
- Bank account numbers
- Birth certificate
- Tax information
- Employee Identification number
Common types of ID theft
- Social Security
- Synthetic (in which thieves “create” a consumer using details stolen from others)
- Create a unique password for each of your accounts and devices to limit the risk of having multiple accounts compromised at once.
- Change your login passwords on a regular basis, and don’t store them in your email or cloud storage services, which a hacker can potentially access. However, many experts do recommend using a digital password manager.
- Avoid sharing sensitive information such as credit card or Social Security numbers through texts, emails, or chats.
- Never use public networks to conduct online financial transactions.
- Remember to log out of personal accounts opened on public devices.
- To keep your personal devices up to date, install the latest versions of the operating system and antivirus software.