(InvestigateTV) — Through the first half of 2023 the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) tracked nearly 1,400 data compromises, higher than the total compromises reported every year between 2005 and 2020 except for 2017.
ITRC Chief Operating Officer James Lee said the large number of data breaches means users need to be more careful than ever.
“Be very sure who you’re giving your information to, because sometimes you don’t need to share all the information that you do,” Lee said. “And if you don’t share it, then it can’t be misused against you. If a business loses control of it.”
If you do have to provide information, Lee said consider requesting a credit freeze.
“You freeze your credit because what criminals do today is they want to impersonate you. They want to open up new accounts by pretending to be you,” Lee explained. “So, freeze your credit. And that makes sure that no one can use that information to open up a new credit account.”
Lee said he recommends a credit freeze because, unlike credit monitoring, it’s preventative.
He also recommended parents freeze their child’s credit. Their information is even more valuable than most adults because it hasn’t been used and abuse often isn’t discovered for a long time.
Lastly, Lee reminded consumers to make sure each of their online accounts have a unique password. This is one of many tips the ITRC has to protect against identity theft.
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