How identity theft is affecting us today

The world as we knew it changed

I think we can collectively agree that none of us anticipated a global pandemic while we were surrounded by our loved ones, eagerly counting down the seconds until the clock struck midnight on December 31st. With the turn of the decade, millions of people were prepared to begin a new chapter in their lives; ready to open new doors, go cold-turkey on bad habits and manifest personal success. Alas, COVID-19 blindsided us all; causing the world as we knew it to change.

 

Being safe in the new “norm”

And yet the American people are gradually adapting to what seems to be the new “norm” in creative ways such as working from home, finding freelance gigs and even starting their own businesses. In fact, according to Guidant Financial, there has been a 27% uptick in the number of small business owners in the past ten months. However, with the good sometimes comes the bad.

Some of the recent changes have made us more vulnerable to a ferocious, ruthless, cold-blooded, vile monster that has already come for 33% of Americans… Alright, I may or may not have been watching too many horror films in quarantine; but my point is that, there has been a rapid increase in big identity theft  cases since the beginning of the pandemic. If you have Google searched statistics or updates on COVID-19, mailed out important records or perhaps discarded confidential information from the comfort of your home, you could be ripe for identity theft.

 

Ways hackers can steal your personal information

The year 2020 has been a dream for people with too much time on their hands and bad intentions. Identity thieves have created illegal spyware that automatically downloads on your computer when you harmlessly click on what appears to be legitimate COVID-19 information (in addition, if you receive a sketchy text message or phone call about “Important COVID-19 updates” do not reply or answer the phone). These scams give identity thief’s access to your most precious information like social security numbers, your home address and credit card numbers.

Hackers then sell these details on the dark web, which can ultimately cost you thousands of dollars that you might not get back. Just because you know your identity has been stolen doesn’t mean what you’ve lost is automatically reimbursed— this unfortunate and common issue is called fraud loss. There has been a 13% increase in American fraud loss this year, meaning $16.9 billion dollars have not been returned to hard working people of all classes and ages due to no fault of their own according to a recent study by Javelin.

 

How to prevent being identity theft victims

There are many forms of identity theft that affect a wide range of people; account takeover fraud, bank account fraud, credit card fraud, driver’s license fraud, mail identity fraud, social security fraud… the list goes on. So, what can you do to avoid identity theft?

Nobody expects to be a victim of this issue but being proactive is vital if you want to avoid identity theft. Purchase an anti-virus protection software, avoid saving passwords and personal information on your computer, safeguard your social security number and most importantly, shred important documents when you no longer need them.

 

The Shred Vault System

Just as the evil forces are adapting to this global crisis, so are the good ones. So, what’s the perfect kryptonite to identify theft—the Shred Vault System. This easy to use, secure destruction service solution combines the use of a Shred Vault Bag that holds up to 10 pounds of paper with a web-based network of secure Shred Vaults (depository kiosks) operated through an easy to use app.

Simply order Shred Vault Bags online or through the app and they’re delivered directly to you. Once you’ve filled with the bag with the paper, you’re ready to shred seal your Shred Vault Bag and check the app for a Shred Vault near you. The best part of the System is all paper documents are securely maintained, tracked and fully recycled.

2020 has been a wild fever-like-dream thus far, but it’s time to fight back in the ways we can. Order your Shred Vault Bags today to protect yourself from identity theft.

If you have become a victim of identity theft or are in the need of identity theft resources, click here to learn more about developing a recovery plan.

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