Of all the types of personal information that could put you at risk for identity theft when in the wrong hands, your Social Security number is the most vulnerable. As the most unique way the government, doctor's offices and creditors can identity you, your Social Security number is necessary to apply for new credit and other benefits. This is why thieves often target this key piece of information to steal.
With the risk of identity theft high, here are three ways to protect your Social Security number:
1. Leave Your Social Security Card At Home
It is rare that you will need to bring your Social Security card with you. When you don't need your Social Security card, make sure to leave it at home and in a secure location, such as a locked safe. This limits the chance someone could glance at your card or steal your wallet…
While consumers believe their personal information belongs wholeheartedly to themselves, the companies they entrust these details to might see things differently. The issue of whom consumer private information belongs to once they hand them over to sign up for services or online accounts has recently come to the forefront. RadioShack is selling customer records in a sale following its bankruptcy, CNNMoney reported. The concerns raised by the possible customer data auction could prompt more consumers to improve their data security and privacy.
Millions of Customer Records for Sale
Up on the auction block is 117 million customer records, which may include names, phone numbers, email addresses and even purchase history. The company aims to sell these and other assets in the sale in order to raise money and pay off its creditors.
The winning bidder of the auction and this information is Standard General LP, PCWorld reported….
With the chance of consumer identity theft after a data breach, companies are at risk for lawsuits after a cyber-related incident. As the threat of cyberattacks, data breaches and even malicious insiders grows, companies need to protect themselves not only from financial losses stemming from compromised information, but also from legal actions brought on by affected consumers. But what happens for companies and consumers after a lawsuit concludes? Recently, Target is reportedly ready to reach a settlement in a class action lawsuit, but the journey to this point has not been easy, according to MarketWatch.
Consequence of Massive Data Breaches
Because of the huge scope of the breach, Target may pay out $10 million with individuals impacted by the breach potentially reimbursed for losses up to $10,000. The breach occurred during the hottest shopping period of the year, around Black Friday in 2013. Hackers infected the…
When consumers use an ATM, the most they worry about is forgetting to take back their card or grab the money out of the machine. However, with the increase risk of fraud, you have more to fear as you may not notice ATM skimmers secretly working in the background. ATM skimmers, or devices that read and record credit card information, lead to credit card fraud, which could raise your debt levels and wreak havoc on your credit history.
Recently, a man from Chicago was convicted of helping operate a $5 million ATM skimming crime ring in several states, according to the New Jersey U.S. Attorney's Office. The scam victimized thousands of customers from banks like Citibank and Wells Fargo by installing skimmers in ATMs in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Florida and other states.
With scammers using more sophisticated methods to steal financial information and make fake bank cards,…
While patients think their health care information is safe from hackers compared to their financial information, medical identity theft is spiking. There are several sources for medical identity theft, which could leave patients at risk for costly bills or health care errors.
Here are three ways patients are at risk for medical identity theft:
1. Insider Breaches
Although health care providers are likely to do a background check on job applicants, workplaces will still have insider threats who could cause patient information data breaches. Insiders were the source of 23 percent of breaches in 2012, according to the Health Information Trust Alliance. In addition, records exposed by insider breaches represented 13 percent of all health records compromised. To prevent insider data breaches, health care organizations could restrict access to patient information only to relevant medical professionals.
2. Giving Info to Loved Ones
Whenever someone other than the…
Like the thieves behind the crime, identity theft can take on many disguses depending on the information stolen. When identity theft goes undetected, these crimes can not only cost victims their money, but also their health and well-being. As each kind of identity theft could be more deadly than the next, here are three types of identity theft to avoid:
Child ID Theft
- What makes it dangerous: Thieves often go after children's identities through stealing data from schools or even taking their relatives' information. Children will likely not know they were victims until they are denied for their first loan, credit card or even housing because of a poor credit history. This blemished credit report could cause them to be denied new lines of credit, which could stunt their financial wealth.
- How to avoid this identity theft: Check your child's credit scores by requesting a free credit report and…
While identity theft can take many forms, medical identity theft is not only a complex crime, but devastating for victims. A new report revealed the number of medical identity theft victims surged almost 22 percent in 2014, with more than 2 million victims total, according to the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance. The Fifth Annual Study on Medical Identity Theft found an upward trend of patients affected by medical identity theft that will likely continue into 2015 as hackers target the health care sector, ThirdCertainty reported.
"2015 will be a year of increased attention to the pervasiveness and damaging effects of medical identity theft," Ann Patterson, MIFA senior vice president and program director, said in a statement.
With medical identity theft likely to have a significant impact this year, patients should guard their information.
Here are three ways to fight against medical identity theft:
With the daily drumbeat of data breach news, it’s easy for businesses and consumers to get fatigued about data security.
But data breaches present banks with a unique opportunity to educate themselves about security threats and raise awareness with customers—commercial and individual, alike—on how to mitigate risk.
When a widespread data breach happens, children are often the most at risk for identity theft. Their clean credit histories make them targets for identity thieves to steal information and open new lines of credit. After the Anthem data breach, millions of children in the U.S. had their personal information exposed, making them vulnerable to identity theft, NBC News reported. As children are highly at risk, parents should take precautions after data breaches to prevent identity theft.
Here are three ways to protect children from identity theft:
1. Remove Suspicious Activity from Your Child's Credit Report
The first step toward protecting your child's credit after a data breach is to request his or her credit report, according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Reach out to each of the three main credit reporting bureaus, TransUnion, Experian and Equifax…
Robbing a bank is a bold and dangerous move even for criminals, but one hacking group managed to steal up to $1 billion from financial institutions around the world without being detected. A massive cybercrime ring hit banks and financial institutions in 30 countries around the world and many of these data breaches are still active, according to Kaspersky Lab.
Sergey Golovanov, principal security researcher for the company's global research and analysis team, called the crime ring a professional cyber-robbery. The criminals were able to infiltrate banks' systems using a combination of hacking techniques and tools, despite these organizations' having various security software.
"These bank heists were surprising because it made no difference to the criminals what software the banks were using," Golovanov said in a statement. "So, even if its software is unique, a bank cannot get complacent. The attackers didn't even need to…