Sharing Sparks Online Identity Theft

Sharing is not always caring. While sharing may good a thing in certain aspects of life, sharing your personal information is never a good idea. While most people and businesses think this only pertains to obviously information such as your social security number or credit card, something as innocent as sharing your pets name could aid an identity thief in accessing sensitive information. We share everything online; its now a part of our everyday lives and culture. Businesses can now solely transact online and consumers have more control over their online assets with individual accounts. Its easy to be seduced by the convenience of emerging technology but its important to protect yourself and your assets. In a recent article published by Mashable, an infographic outlined tips to protect your identity online. Many of these tips involved protecting your smartphone and its contents, but passwords are not always the answer. Its no secret that consumers do not view password strength as a priority and even if they did, hackers are becoming smarter and sophisticated enough to crack many levels and strengths of passwords.

Protecting your online identity is especially important around this time of year (tax return season) because people are sharing more than ever. Not only are they sharing a lot of private information, but also they are eager to share in order to get the biggest return they can get. Last year over 12.6 million Americans were with identity fraud and over $21 billion in losses. Javelin also found that people on social media had the highest incidences of fraud. Some researchers estimated that an online identity was worth around $5,000.00 to identity thieves, that worth has significantly increased with the amount of information we share as businesses and consumers. As we start to share more, we need to protect more. Online fraud prevention is a necessity as companies and consumers share more information online. Detecting these risks is the first step to preventing them start the conversation today.

[Contributed by EVS Marketing]