How to Reduce the Risk of Identity Theft as an Affluent Individual

As the world becomes increasingly digital, the possibility of both personal and sensitive information finding its way onto the internet is becoming more common. Identity theft is one of the biggest growing threats to high-net-worth individuals; in fact, these individuals are 43% more likely to experience identity theft according to the Department of Justice. With affluent individuals being targeted more frequently, it is important to be knowledgeable and prepared for a possible attempt to steal your identity. The following article discusses what identity theft is, what some of the risks may be, and how you may be able to prevent them.

close up of buyer pulling out a card from wallet

What is Identity Theft?

In simple terms, identity theft is when an individual or group steals another person’s identity for financial gain. Typically, cyber criminals commit identity theft by hacking into your online information, such as passwords for email and social media accounts, credit card numbers, bank accounts, social security numbers, and more.

Identify Your Risks & Threats

There are multiple methods that criminals use to commit identity theft. The following non-exhaustive list are some of the common ways that identity theft may occur.

  • Account Takeovers

Account takeovers are when a cybercriminal gains unauthorized access to an online account, such as a social media account, email, bank account, etc. Criminals use these accounts as an entry point to gather more information, typically leading to more sensitive information.

  • Data Breaches

A data breach typically occurs when a cybercriminal installs malicious software into your database by either physical or technology related methods. For example, a data breach could occur if a criminal were to hack your device or if they were to insert a thumb drive carrying harmful software.

  • Skimming

Skimming is when credit and debit card information is stolen through a device attached to a legitimate businesses card reader. The card information is stolen during a transaction and relayed to the criminal or later gathered by the criminal after the device is retrieved. 

affluent couple paying for meal at high end restaurant

  • Phishing

Phishing attacks are when thieves pretend to be trusted individuals or organizations, such as charities or online stores, to gather personal information through malicious emails, texts, and websites.

  • Synthetic Identity Theft

Synthetic identity theft is a method in which criminals take a real social security number of an individual and pair it with fake information, such as another person’s name, date of birth, address, to create a fake identity but with your assets.

  • Standard Stealing

“Standard” stealing, or “old-fashioned” stealing is when criminals aim to steal your personal information by looking through your trash, stealing your wallet, purse, mail, or other materials.

How to Reduce the Risk of Identity Theft

Although identity theft is an increasing threat, there are numerous methods to combat and help protect yourself from being a victim of this crime.

  • Never use unsecured Wi-Fi
  • Try not to overshare on social media
  • Update passwords regularly
  • Never leave a device unattended
  • Check your online banking regularly
  • Update your device software on a regular basis
  • Dispose of sensitive information properly
  • Deep clean electronics before trading in or donating
  • Enable multi-factor authentication
  • Train yourself to look for possible theft attempts

Recap

If you are looking to protect yourself from identity theft, fraud, and other cyber related crimes you may want to consider a form of fraud protection insurance. Connect with a local Cross Private Client agent today to discuss insurance options for you.

 

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This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be relied upon or used for any particular purpose. Cross Insurance shall not be held responsible in any way for, and specifically disclaims any liability arising out of or in any way connected to, reliance on or use of any of the information contained in this article. The information contained or referenced in this article is not intended to constitute and should not be considered legal, insurance, accounting or other professional advice, nor shall it serve as a substitute for the recipient obtaining such advice. The views expressed in this article are that of its author and do not necessarily represent the views of Cross Financial Corp. and its subsidiaries and affiliates (“Cross Insurance”) or Cross Insurance’s management or shareholders.

 

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