Your iPhone may be stealing your identity


According to a 2017 Identity Fraud Study released by Javelin Strategy  & Research, over $107 billion has been stolen by identity thieves  and 10% of that is stolen right from your smartphone. Think about all  the things you do from your phone. There is an application for almost  everything you could imagine and most of your most personal information  is saved in that one place.

We use our phones as a second lifeline. You can purchase almost anything  in a matter of seconds. All your information is easily accessible to  the right hacker. By using secure Wi-Fi, creating a lock code, and  keeping your software up to date, you can help prevent someone from  stealing your identity through your phone. There’s also another  way your information could be stolen from your phone and that’s through  social media. Believe it or not, social media makes it simple for  thieves to steal your personal information. Social media platforms, such  as Facebook, receive revenue from targeted advertising campaigns. They  want you to provide as much information as possible so their clients can  receive the best results and chances are you’ve already given a lot of  this information to them. Unfortunately, there’s little regulation from  the government and few industry standards. This can be a recipe for  disaster depending on who is handling the information at any given time. 

Here are a few things Simply Money Advisors believes you should be aware of to help protect your identity from being stolen. 

Identity theft was at an all-time high in 2016 According  to Javelin Strategy & Research, identity theft was up 13.1% since  last year. Despite brick-and-mortar stores being required to use credit  card chip readers now, identity theft was still on the rise. It is  important to know that even with all security measures in place, your  personal information may still be accessible. 

Rise of the medical sector theft Unlike  bank or credit card fraud, medical fraud is often hard to detect. Your  bank or credit card company will probably notify you of any fraudulent  activity and you are generally protected under the Fair Credit Billing  Act. But, medical fraud can go undetected for a long time if you’re not  careful. By regularly checking your credit report, understanding your  insurance benefits, and looking out for mail about your insurance, it  will be easier for you to protect against this type of fraud.  And one  more thing, if a hospital or doctor’s office asks for your Social  Security number, don’t give it to them. It’s not required information.   

Your children’s identity may also be at risk Recently,  there has been an uptick in children’s Social Security numbers being  stolen. Thieves are taking out lines of credit and opening accounts  using these number. Many times the “thief” is a family member too.  Chances are this crime won’t be detected until the child turns 18 and  discovers this information on their credit report. It’s important to  apply security measures to your children’s accounts.  Simply Money Advisors recommends you put a credit or security freeze on your child's  credit report.  This is done by contacting the credit bureaus, the big  three are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. The cost is minimal and  this will prevent a thief from using a child’s Social Security number to open new accounts.  We strongly suggest you do this with your own  credit reports too. It's simple to lift the freeze should you need to  open an account or apply for a loan.

The Simply Money Point

With  the use of technology, it has become easier than ever to steal your  identity. Simply Money Advisors encourages you to take precautions to  protect yourself. Make sure you are checking your credit report  regularly.  This is a great place to see if there is any suspicious  activity. Create various security codes and different passwords for all  your accounts and devices too. Protecting your identity may take time  but it’s better to be EXTRA safe than REALLY sorry.

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