December is National Identity Theft Prevention and Awareness Month

Did you know that December is National Identity Theft Prevention and Awareness Month? The hustle and bustle of the holidays often means we’re all a bit more preoccupied both on and off the clock — creating an opportunity for fraudsters to take advantage of that distraction. December is often a time when data breaches increase and sensitive data gets leaked, making this month a great time to review tips and resources to help build strong habits that protect your personal information and safeguard yourself, your family, and your organization from identity fraud year-round.

Identity theft is not only the fastest growing crime of the 21st Century, it is also ranked as one of American’s most-feared crimes. Data breaches remain prevalent, meaning cybercriminals continue to target each and every organization that collects our Personally Identifiable Information (PII) for financial gain — which often means selling your PII, or that of your company, on the Dark Web to other cybercriminals who use it to commit identity crimes. And individuals of all ages are paying the price, with victims paying an average of $1,343 per identity theft accident. It only takes a fraudster a few pieces of your data to commit credit card fraud, synthetic identity theft, tax return fraud and more!

Consider the following tips and resources to create safe online habits during National Identity Theft Prevention and Awareness Month and beyond.

Safeguarding Your Personal Information

Review these resources for actionable steps to increase the security of your sensitive documents and information.

Tips to Protect Your Identity

  1. Update your account passwords. Your account credentials for various accounts may have been exposed, giving hackers access to your information and allowing them to take over your account to make purchases. Be sure to update your password to a strong sequence that you have not previously used.
  2. Review financial accounts for suspicious activity. With gift purchases being made left and right, thieves might test the waters by making small purchases that will fly under the radar. Report all fraudulent charges you do not recognize.
  3. Never provide login, personal or financial information on unsecured sites. Look for “https://” at the beginning of the web address and the lock icon next to it to ensure you’re visiting a secured site.
  4. Keep up with the latest data breaches in the news:

Continue following Fighting Identity Crimes to get the latest breach and scam updates, ID protection news & tips from our industry experts!

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of EZShield Inc. alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any other person or entity, including specifically any person or entity affiliated with the distribution or display of this content.

Steve Turner, Information Security Expert
Steve, former Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at Sontiq, the parent company of the EZShield and IdentityForce brands, has...
Read more about Steve Turner.

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