Identity Theft is a hot topic as we enter 2013. Hackers are developing more ways to steal identities, and it’s only getting easier for them. According to Time Magazine, 2.5 million dead people get their identities stolen every year. We are all at risk, and yet most do very little to protect themselves and their data.
So, what are the areas that BullGuard anticipates seeing the biggest increase in identity theft this year? Have a read below, and learn how to protect yourself against…
The top 4 identity threats of 2013:
- Social Media Fraud
Social media users are encouraged to share far too much personal information with each other by sites such as Facebook and Twitter. According to a study by Javelin Strategy & Research, consumers with intimate social media behaviours are at a high risk for identity theft. 45% share their birthday information, which is a key identity verifier, and something often used in passwords. Think twice about what you’re sharing.
- Child Identity Theft
Children have clean backgrounds and no credit scores making them ideal prey for cybercriminals. To make matters worse, parents don’t think to monitor their children’s identity status – why would you? The long term effects of this can be detrimental to securing student loans, or even purchasing a car. In one case, a 16 year old girl reported fraudulent charges of $725,000 when her identity had been stolen and used to clean the credit scores of others.
- Medical Identity Theft
Do you carry your insurance cards in your wallet? You could be putting yourself at risk for medical identity theft. So take good care of them! This crime could even be carried out by doctors, nurses or other health care workers, resulting in medical bills for treatment not received, as well as increased premiums, or even loss of coverage. Also, with more and more medical data now being stored electronically, medical data bases have become a real magnet for hackers who can steal medical files, insurance records and billing information and use them to their benefit.
- Massive Data Breaches
2012 saw several heavily publicized massive data breaches of large companies such as Apple and Linkedin. If cybercriminals can hack into their databases and retrieve users’ personal information and passwords, there’s no doubt that hackers will be feeling emboldened this year to target a variety of new victims, such as charities and government databases.
It’s clear that these hackers are getting smarter and you should be very careful who you share your personal information with. When it comes to your online accounts, being diligent about changing your passwords from time to time isn’t enough anymore, which is why we recommend you have internet security software installed on the device you go online from.
BullGuard makes it simple to stay safe online with an all-in-one security suite. Feel confident running a quick scan, adjusting your own protection levels and backing up your files. Keep your data, and your identity safe with BullGuard. Get it here!