Check out a selection of our recent Infographics to share with your clients, links to other useful sites and our Guide for Victims

Medical Identity Theft

In 2021, 45 million individuals were affected by healthcare attacks, up from 34 million in 2020. That number has tripled in just three years, growing from 14 million in 2018

It’s a growing menace: Cases of medical ID theft reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rose from about 6,800 in 2017 to nearly 43,000 in 2021.

When someone steals another person’s medical information, they may use this medical identity theft to their advantage in several ways. They may ask to receive medical treatment, get health services, or fill prescriptions. It can cost far more than purely financial identity theft. Federal law generally limits consumers’ liability for fraudulent credit card charges to $50, but there are no such protections for a stolen medical identity.

Learn more and watch a video showing how a young Mothers life was turned upside down by Medical Identity Theft by clicking on the pic!


Student Identity Theft…

For many students, college is their first foray into an adult world full of newly realized responsibilities. Many are managing bank accounts and credit cards for the first time and paying and managing their various bills. This a world fraught with danger to their Identity and their financial and personal well being as they learn the importance of security regarding passwords, personal information online, use of social media, using unprotected Wi-Fi networks and more.

Let’s take a look at some of the issues:
  • College freshmen are opening checking accounts, many for the first time, and getting their first credit cards.
  • Most students haven’t developed the good habits they’ll need to stay safe. Students need to check bank and credit card statements regularly and often don’t.
  • Students are massive users of smart phones and tablets. Mobile = Potential Danger.
  • Students often use unsecured wireless networks when surfing the web.
  • Students tend to be very trusting, sharing passwords and PIN codes with friends.
  • Students are more likely than other people to fill out personal information that could be used by others to fake their identity.
  • 98% of Students use multiple Social Media platforms daily. We share huge amounts of information there, not always wisely or securely!

To learn more, download our infographic and watch our cool animated video on the issue, click on the pic!


A Quick Tip Sheet for Vacation Season…

We’re back traveling after COVID and whilst we deserve a fun vacation, let’s not forget to keep our identity safe.

There are many simple ways we can do this and by using them we’ll hopefully avoid having the vacation turned into a nightmare!

Download our infographic to share with friends and colleagues by clicking on the pic!


Social Media continues its explosive growth in our personal and business lives…As always in the digital world, opportunities also bring dangers for misuse of our personal information

Social Media has become a major part of both our personal and business lives. We give out a lot of information freely. Whether interacting with friends and family or promoting our business their use has exploded over recent years.

Along with that growth there are significant risks to our personal information and how it’s used or misused. There’s a lot to understand and if we want to feel secure we need to be self informed.

Today, social media has many business uses as well: it’s is a common way for companies to market products and events, to keep abreast of industry and societal trends and interact with their client base.

Unconsciously (or sometimes, consciously), you provide personal details you would not share on your social media accounts. Information such as your full name (including your middle name), date of birth, hometown, pet names, interests and hobbies, nature of work, and home or office address are just some of the personal details you post on your profile. Criminals can easily manipulate these details to commit fraud. Protecting this information just as you would protect your SSN and driver’s license number is one effective method of identity theft prevention.

To Learn more, download our Infographic and to watch a couple of videos explaining the risks associated with Social Media in simple terms click on the pic!


Ransomware – What is it? How Can We protect Ourselves?

Ransomware is a type of malicious software, or malware, that prevents you from accessing your computer files, systems, or networks and demands you pay a ransom for their return. Ransomware attacks can cause costly disruptions to operations and the loss of critical information and data.

You can unknowingly download ransomware onto a computer by opening an email attachment, clicking an ad, following a link, or even visiting a website that’s embedded with malware.

Once the code is loaded on a computer, it will lock access to the computer itself or data and files stored there. More menacing versions can encrypt files and folders on local drives, attached drives, and even networked computers.

To Learn more, download our Infographic and to watch a video explaining Ransomware in simple terms click on the pic!


So, How Safe IS Your Password?

Passwords are the front door to your money, personal data, and secrets. More passwords mean more vulnerabilities. Unless you choose strong passwords, you are more vulnerable to cybercrime than most people.

A password of 8 standard letters contains 209 billion possible combinations, but a computer is able to calculate this instantly.
Adding one upper case letter to a password dramatically alters a computer’s potential to crack a password, extending it to 22 minutes.
Having a long mix of upper and lower case letters, symbols and numbers is the best way make your password more secure.
A 12-character password containing at least one upper case letter, one symbol and one number would take 34,000 years for a computer to crack.

Learn more by clicking on the pic!


Seniors Are Very Vulnerable to Identity Theft. Why?

An aging population where seniors own over half of the financial assets in the country and nearly 3 times the average net worth of 35-44 year olds make them, unsurprisingly, especially attractive to identity thieves.

Rapid changes in technology and the use of technology by seniors just learning to adapt to its use is a major vulnerability.

During, and post Covid, many seniors have to get their information, benefits, shop, conduct financial transactions etc  digitally rather than in person and no doubt this trend will continue.  However, they may not have enough education about the dangers as well as the convenience of the digital world.

Learn more by clicking on the pic!


Tax Refund Fraud Has Exploded in Recent Years

Scammers typically use stolen names and Social Security numbers to file phony electronic tax forms for IRS refunds.

To try and combat Identity Theft, later in 2022 the IRS will be changing the way you can access your online account with them to include facial recognition and other security changes via the company ID.me

Tens of thousands of unsolved Identity theft cases are stuck at the IRS. It can take from six months to the better part of a year to get a case cleared up for an individual taxpayer.

Learn more by clicking on the pic!


Mobile Device & Smartphone Security Threats

The most dangerous thing on our smartphone? OUR FINGERS! Clicking can expose us to a variety of threats….

Phone hacking and compromise can endanger your identity and privacy without you even knowing. Fraudsters continuously evolve and improve hacking methods, making them increasingly harder to spot. This means the average user might be blind sided by any number of cyber attacks. 

The vast majority of Americans – 97% – now own a cellphone of some kind. The share of Americans that own a smartphone is now 290 million or 85%, up from just 35% in 2011.

Smartphones have brought our private and business accounts and their associated data into a single, convenient location — making our phones the perfect target for cyber criminals. Everything from banking to email and social media can be linked into your phone. Which means that once a criminal gets access to your phone, all your apps are open doors for cyber theft.

Learn more by clicking on the pic!


Check Out Our Guide For Victims

Our guide walks you through the process of Identity Theft repair and restoration. It also has do’s and don’ts to help keep you safer.

It’s a valuable tool!

Learn more by clicking on the pic!

Here Are Some Links To More Useful Information From Trusted Sources

Social Security

Learn more about Social Security Fraud and how to report it! Click on the icon for more information

FTC

The Federal Trade Commission is responsible for gathering Identity Theft reports and oversees Consumer Reporting Agencies. Click on the icon to learn more

DHSS

Learn about your rights under HIPPA and the handling of your medical records and information. Click on the icon to learn more

Opt Out Pre Screen

Want to Opt Out of junk emails offering credit or insurance? Click on the icon to learn more

Annual Credit Report

You are entitled to a free annual credit report from each of the credit bureaus. Click on the icon to learn more

Banking and Identity Fraud

The FDIC is responsible for the health of the financial system in the US. It has some good info about Identity Fraud and banking. Click on the icon to learn more