Identity theft is at an all-time high in today’s digital world. Identity theft can happen to anyone including teenagers browsing their smartphones to middle-aged families securing their nest egg. Security is no longer guaranteed and crucial steps need to be taken to make sure safety is within reach. Last year alone, 15 million people lost over $16 billion due to identity theft. Identity theft doesn’t stop with just bank accounts either. Medical records, credit scores, and even criminal records are at a higher risk.
The most common form of identity theft starts with an unauthorized credit card or bank account charge. About 86% of fraud victims initially notice the intrusion by noticing an unauthorized charge on their bank account or credit card. Those diligent enough to find the unauthorized charges early usually have the charge taken care of within a couple of hours. Not all cases are so quick. Some identity theft cases can take years to resolve and 25% of cases are never fully solved. As a freelancer, you also need to understand the importance of protecting your credit as well.
Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking platforms have become a hotbed for identity theft. Social networkers have a 46% higher risk of identity theft. Online shopping also carries a higher risk. Your risk raises 30% online than in traditional brick and mortar stores. Taking steps such as clearing your card information in your browser, creating complex passwords, and securing your online shopping purchases can help protect that extra money you worked hard for safe from identity theft.
Whether you’re 18 and graduating high school or 80 and making your retirement fund last, keeping an eye on your digital footprint is more important than ever. Check out the infographic from Investment Zen below. It shows extra information on the risks of identity fraud as well as a additional information to keep you safe from harm. If you suspect identity fraud at any time, call the Federal Trade Commission and file a report.