Identity Theft: Are You Ready to Face the Risk?
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.
The Identity Theft Resource Center offers a number of security quizzes and safety checks to help you know how high your risk may be. Since October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, there’s no better time to look these over and see where your security shortcomings might be hiding. This week’s theme is Our Continuously Connected Lives: What’s Your “Apptitude”?
- The General Risk – This ITRC Fact Sheet asks some key questions about everyday behaviors that might impact your risk of identity theft. The questions include everything from how you dispose of junk mail to where you store your Social Security card (hint: it shouldn’t be in your wallet!).
- The Consumer Risk – Are you doing everything you can to make sure you’re only shopping through secure channels? This quiz asks you to identify the security risk involved with the places you do business and the methods by which you spend money. It can often seem like a major retailer’s security protocols are out of our hands, and for the most part, you’re right.
- The Tech Risk – One of the harshest realities facing our identities is the fact that we live in the digital age, and the possibility of becoming too lax about our technology is very real. This ITRC quiz asks you to gauge your own knowledge of cybersecurity. If any of the questions seem to be in a foreign language, it might be time to brush up on your tech skills.
Again, no one deserves to have their identities stolen, and no one should have to go through the financial, physical, and even emotional aftermath of being a victim. While cybercriminals and identity thieves get more and more advanced every day, there are some things that we can all do to protect ourselves from the risk. Know what those steps are, and make them a part of your good security habits.
Anyone can be a victim of identity theft, anyone can use our services, and anyone can help us help others. If you found this information useful, please consider donating to the Identity Theft Resource Center to help us keep our services free to the public.