Happy Halloween! People tend to spread the word about keeping physically safe at this time of year—making sure your costume is bright and visible, only going to place you know while trick-or-treating, and staying together in a group for security—but there are hidden dangers that can have a lasting impact. While you’re busy having a spooky good time, it’s important to remember that some things target your finances or your personal data can be actually scary, and nowhere close to fun.
In 2005, the REAL ID Act was passed by the 9/11 Commission to set national standards for issuing identification documents, such as I.D. cards and driver’s licenses. This Act requires that all state-issued identification documents comply with these standards, and prohibits federal agencies from accepting any identification that does not meet these standards. Some of the instances where a citizen might need valid forms of ID include being called for jury duty, crossing the border, visiting a military base, or boarding a commercial aircraft.
Identity theft is a growing, evolving crime, and whether we like to admit it or not, there are some key behaviors that can leave us vulnerable. At the risk of victim shaming anyone affected by this crime—since there are certainly a lot of ways that thieves can steal your information without your help—it’s important to know how high your risk of identity theft really is based on your everyday security behaviors.
As National Cybersecurity Awareness Month moves forward, it’s important for individuals and businesses to understand that identity theft is not one single crime. While it is broken up into different categories based on what the thief did with the victim’s information—like open a new credit card account, buy a car, or seek medical care—it’s also important to understand that there’s a lot of crossover potential. An identity thief can drain your existing check account, rent an apartment, and even get a job in your name, all of which fall under different categories.
Every year, the American Bankers Association hosts “Get Smart About Credit” Day to educate the public on good credit card practices, smart spending, and more. But there’s one crucial aspect to having good credit that consumers need to remember all throughout the year, and that’s the link between your credit card accounts and identity theft.
October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and that means consumers and business owners alike are invited to set aside some time over the course of the month to learn more about the current trends in cyber security, the threats to our personally identifiable information, and more.
Each year in October, the National Cybersecurity Alliance plays host to an important month-long program, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This program provides individuals, businesspeople, policymakers, and law enforcement with education on the latest trends in securing sensitive data, as well offers vital information recognizing and combatting cybercrime.