Skip to content

Why Identity Theft is a Big Deal During COVID-19

Should you be concerned about your identity being compromised? Yes!

Identity theft continues to be a problem in the US. In 2018, 14.4 million people were victims of identity theft. That’s 4 out of every 100 people. This number was down from 2017 (16.7 million) but the toll was heavier: out-of-pocket fraud costs more than doubled from 2016 to 2018 to the tune of $1.7 billion. And this is just the financial aspect. To recover your stolen identity with credit card companies and government agencies can take months or years to get straightened out.

Identity theft and scams tend to spike during times of crisis such as COVID-19. Your data that was compromised years ago through a breach such as the Marriott or Target attack, could be used today to file unemployment claims, collect stimulus payments, apply for small business loans, and other lines of credit. The most coveted items that thieves want are social security numbers, birthdates, and bank account/routing numbers.

Find out what information of yours is being sold on the dark web.

There are ways to prevent your identity from being stolen. Here are seven recommendations that can help keep your identity safe.

  • Monitor your credit reports regularly. Monitoring often can help quickly identify any possible fraudulent acitivity and respond to it before it damages your credit. Check your credit reports at Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.
  • Subscribe to a credit or identity theft monitoring service such as LifeLock. These services help monitor and alert you of threats to your identity as well as provide reimbursement of funds stolen, and assist in resolving theft issues.   
  • Place a security or credit freeze on your credit file so lenders cannot gain access to it. If you feel identity theft may have occurred in your name, you might want to consider a security freeze to avoid any new fraudulent accounts being opened in your name.
  • Be extremely cautious when receiving emails, calls or letters. Confirm legitimacy, avoid clicking any links or opening attachments, and never give your personal information over the phone.
  • Be cautious about using free Wi-Fi. Many hackers use public places (called watering holes) to set up their own free Wi-Fi to load malware or spyware on your device.
  • Don’t overshare on social media. Facebook and LinkedIn can be a treasure trove for finding out personal information. And be sure to manage privacy settings about who can and can’t see your info.
  • Close unused accounts. You’ve probably signed up for accounts that you don’t use any longer. If hacked, those places may hold a ton of personal info, especially email accounts with personal documents.

Identity theft doesn’t have to be a part of your future. By monitoring your credit reports and being careful with your personal identification information (PII), your identity can be better protected.

Find out how we can help keep your information protected.

You might also like:

Why you should use MFA for everything!

By Byron Martin | July 7, 2020

Have you had your password stolen? According to Avast, a company that specializes in anti-virus software and VPN services, over 29 billion passwords have been stolen due to breaches over the past 10 years. Since there are 7.5 billion people on this planet and only 63% have access to a mobile phone with internet, chances…

COVID-19 Impacting Cyber Breaches

By Byron Martin | July 1, 2020

During this month’s virtual discussion between Byron Martin, CEO at Teknologize and Jon Patterson, Co-Owner at JPI Insurance Solutions, they discussed the current impact of COVID-19 on Cyber Breaches and what you can do to help protect your business. Byron: Well you know, I’m reading all the time article day after day about breaches or what’s happening in…

When a technology disaster happens, how long will it take for your systems to recover?

By Byron Martin | June 23, 2020

Do you know how much a technology outage could cost your business? Use this Recover Time Objective (RTO) Calculator to help you measure the business impact of a potential IT disaster. This Recover Time Objective (RTO) Calculator can be used to get a general analysis of what an outage could cost your business. Evaluate your…

Let us know how we can help.

Scroll To Top