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It’s very easy for someone to steal another’s identity, and the implications can be life-changing.
According to recent studies, hackers are beginning to diversify their target and use sneakier methods to commit identity theft. In fact, one in ten individuals will become victims of identity theft in their lifetime. 21% of these victims will be attacked multiple times.
So just how easy is it to commit identity fraud? How are cybercriminals evolving their methods, and how can the average person keep their identity safe?
One of the biggest vulnerabilities that can lead to identity fraud involves the improper use of email accounts. Sending sensitive information such as bank account statements, financial plans, tax returns, estate plans, and other private data can lead to serious vulnerabilities. Namely, phishing and not practicing regular password hygiene can cause identity theft. Think of it this way: You wouldn’t send your credit card number through your email account, so why would you send your bank account information? It’s vital that consumers are diligent about where and how they share their financial information on the internet, and via email is definitely off the table. This also comes down to the acts of financial advisors. Many will simply request these documents via email because it’s convenient, especially since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. However, this just doesn’t work when it comes to decent security. That’s why a platform like SideDrawer is so valuable. SideDrawer is an extremely secure hub for financial advisors, clients, and their families to securely share sensitive documents-- without the need for risky emails. SideDrawer also makes it easier for financial advisors to reduce regulatory compliance risks and kick up overall security, all through a platform that is very user friendly. Email is great for a lot of communication, but platforms like SideDrawer are definitely preferable for financial advisory. Hackers can also get into our smartphones, laptops, and tablets through the use of malware and spyware. This makes it possible for cybercriminals to quickly snatch sensitive information from devices that are connected to public Wi-Fi networks. Experts in cybersecurity encourage travelers to avoid public Wi-Fi in hotels and in other public areas. How was our guide to understanding the how and why of identity theft? Tell us what you think in the comments below.