Identity theft is when thieves steal your personal information to take over or open new accounts, file fake tax returns, rent or buy properties, or do other criminal things in your name. It can occur because of a known breach, such as when your data is exposed along with that of thousands or millions of other consumers. Identity theft may also follow the pilfering of your personal information if mail is stolen out of your mailbox, you lose your wallet or a similar physical event. 

Online privacy, also known as internet privacy or digital privacy, refers to how much of your personal, financial, and browsing information remains private when you’re online. Internet-related privacy issues exist on a spectrum, from information you don’t mind sharing (such as a public social media account) to nuisance privacy compromises (targeted ads, for instance) to public embarrassment or breaches that affect your personal life (financial breaches or professional setbacks).  

However, online privacy has less to do with what you are doing and more to do with who you are AND what you are doing. On the internet, data has high value. It’s stolen, sold, collected, and analyzed. The most important thing to remember about your privacy is that it is YOURS. It is your information, your habits and patterns, and your actions. Therefore, you should want to protect it in any way possible. 

If you’ve already been affected by any of the major breaches, you aren’t alone. But cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to exploit victims and information exposed in earlier incidents may be reused over and over in new scams. Monitoring your identity and privacy online is critical in staying one step ahead of thieves and hackers. 

These days, identity theft protection strategies and tools are important ways to help protect your Social Security number and other personal information. A stolen identity can cost you money and time as you may have to hire professionals and work with credit bureaus to clear your good name. Identity thieves can use your information to open fraudulent credit card accounts that may show up on your credit report and hurt your credit score. Just monitoring your credit isn’t enough--you could miss certain identity threats. We see more, like if your personal information is sold on the Dark Web. And if you are a victim, our identity protection helps with identity restoration and ongoing safeguards. 

Kids have a growing array of personal data linked to their identities—Social Security numbers along with other identifying information—and that means the risk of fraud is also increasing. Children may also unwittingly divulge personal details online that thieves can use to steal their identities. We have tools available to help parents understand the cyber risks today’s children face and we’re here to empower you with tools and resources to protect your family from cybercriminals. 

Monitoring kids’ time online is an important first step, but between online learning, socializing and other digitally based activities, we know you can’t always be looking over their shoulder. Children are also notorious for oversharing on social media and other platforms, potentially opening the door to cyber bullying and other unwelcome contacts. Cyberscout has resources to assist you in educating kids about using good online hygiene to avoid cyber bullies and other predators. 

Older generations may not have grown up with all the connected devices and online services we have today, but they're using digital solutions more than ever before. Unfortunately, they're also common targets for identity thieves. The seniors in your life may look like easy prey to unscrupulous caregivers. Fraudsters sometimes assume older individuals are less stringent about protecting their credentials for financial accounts and digital logins. Cyberscout’s online knowledge portal provides guidance on protecting seniors’ online privacy and helps them recognize risk areas, such as social engineering scams that often target the elderly. Our suite of services also includes seniors fraud resolution, designed to help older family members—parents and grandparents (in-laws, too!)—stay safe online. 

The number of ransomware attacks is on the rise and the fraudsters running these schemes are becoming more ruthless. A ransomware attack not only puts you at risk of losing your data forever, the cybercriminals may also decide to post your personal information or your customers’ information online as punishment for not paying the ransom. Even if you do pay, there’s no guarantee you will receive the decryption key needed to regain access to your data.  

Cyberscout’s online knowledge portal offers the latest tips and advice on practicing good online hygiene. We can help your employees understand how to choose strong passwords and why it’s important to keep their corporate login credentials secure and never share them with anyone.