It’s that time of year when many people, especially students, are searching for a summer job. As you’re looking, bear in mind that identity thieves are looking for a paycheck too – they want your identity. When you fill out applications, you’re putting nearly all of your personal information on paper and often placing it in the hands of a stranger. This is the stuff of identity thieves’ dreams. Make sure you take the steps necessary to protect your identity.
On June 6, 2012, various news sources reported that approximately 6.5 million encrypted passwords had been posted on the Internet and that hackers were working together to crack them. The professional networking site, LinkedIn, is the only company currently being reported as the target of the hack. Both Sophos security firm and LinkedIn report that the list includes passwords associated with LinkedIn accounts, but the total number of compromised LinkedIn accounts remains unconfirmed. With over 131 million users, the presumed breach of up to 6.5 million passwords would be affecting less than 5% of the company’s user base.
Keeping all of your computer software and your operating system updated at all times is critical to securing your system and data. Anything short of the highest security standards and your computer may become a bot, sending out spam emails, attacking and recruiting other computers into the botnet and spreading viruses.
The personal data you share with your online social circles is only as secure as the weakest link in your network. No matter how strict you are about your privacy settings, the careless behavior of one of your connections could cause trouble for you, leading identity thieves to get their hands on your personal data.
Active duty military personnel are constantly preparing for deployment and their known absence makes them targets for identity theft. It’s imperative that in addition to preparing for the challenges involved in protecting others that they also prepare for their deployment when it comes to protecting their own identity.