Identity thieves thrive on simple mistakes
Although recent events in the online security community have left some consumers feeling overwhelmed, it is worth noting that a number of problems can be avoided with simple defense strategies.
Most consumers assume that online identity thieves must have superior technical skills, and corporate and government data breaches have only reinforced this perception. But in reality, many cybercriminals are only exploiting the elementary mistakes made by their targets.
Just this week, a Georgia teen found himself in hot water after acquiring someone else's Social Security number with a simple Google search and using it to apply for a credit card. According to WSBTV, that information belonged to a senior White House official and earned the misguided youth a visit from federal prosecutors.
While his actions were certainly less than noble, they have underscored the importance of effective online identity management.
According to Business Insider, a number of consumers are neglecting simple strategies that could keep their information safe from incidental or intentional abuse. For example, password protecting all devices and managing these credentials with a password organizer can guard data stored on misplaced BlackBerry devices and stolen laptops. Routine credit monitoring could also alert consumers to suspicious activity.