Identity theft is on the rise. According to a report from Javelin Strategies, 16.7 million Americans fell victim to identity fraud schemes in 2017. That’s up 8% over the previous year. Thieves made off with $16.8 billion from US consumers.
Residents of some states are at higher risk of becoming identity theft victims, according to ASecureLife.com’s recent analysis of data from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). For example, Nevada, which ranked first on the list of high-risk states, had 14.44 victims per 100,000 residents, and each victim lost just under $6,000 on average. Compare that to Ohio; while there were far fewer victims per 100,000, each lost nearly $14,000 to thieves.
The takeaway: even in states where the probability of having your identity stolen is low, you stand to lose a lot if you become a victim. While few of us are immune to this risk, we can do a better job of protecting ourselves before it happens.
One of the key themes for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, held annually in October, is online safety at home. This encourages entire households to engage in stronger digital privacy and security practices. Poor online hygiene — such as using weak passwords and posting personally identifiable information (PII) on social media — and the actions we take on the internet every single day undercut our privacy and may increase our risk of identity theft.
Improving our digital security doesn’t require detailed technical knowledge. Here are five simple steps to take right now.
Create stronger, unique passwords
It may seem simpler to reuse the same easy-to-remember password over and over, but if a cyber thief is able to hack one, they gain access to all of your accounts. Don’t use common words or phrases or meaningful numbers like your (Read more...)
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from The State of Security authored by Tripwire Guest Authors. Read the original post at: https://www.tripwire.com/state-of-security/security-awareness/ncsam-digital-hygiene-identity-theft/