Identity Security: A Holistic Approach
As we move forward into the new year, we look back on 2017 to see how fraud and identity theft have impacted us, and what we can do to start 2018 on the right foot. Fraudsters have turned to email scams, spoofed websites, fake messages and malicious software to facilitate a number of identity crimes.
Today’s world of digital identity crime requires us to look at identity security in three parts: a focus on cybersecurity, financial awareness and identity protection to effectively secure your most valued asset – your identity. Let’s look at a few 2018 Identity Security Resolutions to see how we can improve our overall identity security in the coming new year.
Cybersecurity: Data Breaches & Online Threats
We’ve covered numerous data breach events in 2017. The top-5 listed below have contributed to the massive number of records – 174,402,528 – exposed by data breaches last year:
1. Deep Root Analytics, exposing personal information and behavioral data of 200 million U.S. voters
2. Equifax, exposing 145.5 million U.S. consumers
3. Alteryx, exposing personal information and behavioral data of 123 million American households
4. Uber, exposing 57 million riders and drivers worldwide
5. HBO, exposing 1.5 terabytes of sensitive corporate data
As data breaches become commonplace in today’s digital world, we’ve begun focusing on what can happen to your information after it’s been exposed. In December 2017, a database holding 1.4 billion login credential pairings was discovered on the Dark Web. With 60 percent of us reusing passwords across our online accounts, the security implications of password reuse were highlighted by the information found in the database itself. Per 4iQ, the most commonly used passwords found within the database included “123456,” “qwerty” and “111111.”
Exposed data and the Dark Web seem to go hand-in-hand. The Dark Web plays a much larger role in data breaches than we may think. Fraudsters can make a profit from buying and selling breached data on online black market sites, or choose to dump it so it’s accessible to anyone who wants it. Identity thieves can also use the Dark Web to obtain the malicious software used to breach a business or other organization.
2018 Identity Security Resolution: Cybersecurity
Create separate, unique passwords for each of your online accounts, and avoid reusing the same passwords for multiple accounts.
Financial Awareness: Credit & Your Identity
With cybersecurity risks aside, managing your financial health is also key in staying on top of your personal information. Regularly checking your bank statements, transactions and credit reports can help you spot instances of identity crime in its early stages.
Your bank statements and transactional histories can reveal unauthorized purchases and other fraudulent activity on your existing accounts. Your credit reports can also help you find instances where fraud or identity theft may have occurred via new accounts or lines of credit. The information found in your credit report’s header, inquiries and trades can help you discover instances where unauthorized use of your personal information has occurred.
As such, it’s important to regularly pull your credit reports from all three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) to look for inconsistencies, mistakes and other discrepancies that could point to identity theft. The earlier you can catch identity crime, the easier it will be to resolve and prevent future instances of fraud or identity theft.
2018 Identity Security Resolution: Financial Awareness
Request your free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) in 2018.
for a Digital World
Effective identity protection is the third piece of the identity security puzzle. No matter which provider you choose, your identity protection program should offer you the proper tools to guard against identity crime threats – both online and off.
When it comes to passwords, DashLane found that 86 percent of us rely on memorizing them. With the hundreds of online accounts we use, it’s crucial that you keep your passwords safe. Password managers can help you handle your sensitive passwords so that you can create unique ones for each account – without having to memorize them.
If you happen to become a victim of identity theft in 2018, it’s crucial you have some form of identity restoration. Trained professionals work with you to help you get back on track after your information has been misused or stolen.
If you’re an EZShield customer, your ID Protection works to secure, monitor and restore your identity with a 32-step End2End Defense restoration process. EZShield’s team of certified Resolution Specialists are ready to help victims of identity theft discover, isolate and prevent future identity crime events.
2018 Identity Security Resolution: Identity Protection
Protect your identity by subscribing to an identity protection service, and utilize a password manager for your sensitive passwords.
P.S. If you’re an EZShield customer, you’re already ahead of the game!
Want to start off your 2018 Identity Security Resolutions on the right foot? Get involved in this year’s Data Privacy Day (January 28) hosted by the National Cyber Security Alliance. Be sure to use the official hashtag #PrivacyAware on Facebook and Twitter to jump into the conversation!
Continue following Fighting Identity Crimes to get the latest breach and scam updates, ID Protection news and tips from our industry experts.
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.