Did you know a child’s identity is twice as likely to be compromised as an adult’s? More than 1 million children under the age of 18 in the U.S. were identity theft victims in a single year, according to the most recent study on Child Identity Fraud by Javelin Strategy & Research. Two-thirds of those young victims are under the age of eight. Cyber thieves seek out the untapped identities of children to open credit cards, commit tax fraud, qualify for government benefits, or apply for work or a place to live – and by doing so, this compromise of personal information can go undetected for years, at least until your child has a need to open a credit card account or apply for a loan. Continue reading
Credit Is More Than Your Card
When your information is exposed in a data breach, it can cause panic and concern. Who can I trust? What should I do? And who has access to my information?
The good news is that some of the most effective preventative measures are already within your reach. Your credit information – paired with the right credit protection tools – can help defend against fraud and identity theft after a data breach event.
Each of us understands the concept of credit from our own perspectives. Credit typically means “buy now, pay off later.” Credit scores indicate our lending risk and credit reports are often reviewed to rent an apartment, apply for a loan or open new credit card accounts.
Industry experts (including those of us at EZShield, too) often suggest that consumers check their credit reports, consider placing credit freezes or fraud alerts, and contact the three major credit bureaus. So, let’s look at how credit works, how your credit reports can help you spot identity crime, and additional tools you can use to further protect your credit information. Continue reading
Parents, Kids, and Online Sharing
Sharenting, or the act of parents sharing information about their children online, is a phenomenon that began in the early 2000s. Parents began posting media of their children playing sports, taking their first steps, singing in the car and more. While social media is a great tool to keep in touch with long distance relatives and friends, some have shown concern about sharenting because of how much information of their child is online.
Some parents believe that sharenting helps during the parenting process, whereas others say that parents sometimes share too much. With identity crimes that target children in mind, where is the line drawn when it comes to the privacy of a child’s information?
Identity theft… without your full identity
It’s called synthetic identity theft. Whether by a phishing scam, data breach, hack or physical theft, your information becomes compromised and falls into the wrong hands. Criminals use this stolen information to mix and match names, birthdays, Social Security numbers and addresses with other fabricated information to create synthetic IDs. Once the synthetic identity is made, criminals can make fraudulent charges to your bank account, open new lines of credit, order prescriptions and even commit crimes under your name.
In 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) called synthetic identity theft “the fastest growing type of identity fraud in the United States.” Unlike “true name” identity theft, fraudsters only need to use certain pieces of your information — paired with the criminal’s own or fabricated information — to create a new, “synthetic” identity.