If you’re young and female, today is the most dangerous day of the year — at least in terms of
online identity theft.
Women are 26 percent more likely to be victims of identity fraud than men, and 18- to 24-year-olds are the slowest to detect online fraud, according to Javelin Strategy & Research’s 2010 Identity Fraud Report.
Compared to other age groups, consumers under 25 don’t monitor their online accounts regularly, and it takes them nearly twice as many days to realize their information has been hacked.
Over 100 million people are expected to shop online today, Cyber Monday, at a time when identity theft is at a record six-year high.
The most likely information to be compromised in an online data breach is someone’s full name and mailing address.
Crime rings then buy and sell consolidated lists of names, Social Security numbers and credit-card numbers, said Jorge Montalvo of the New York State Consumer Protection Board. Some info is more valuable than others, he said; for example, Social Security numbers cost more than addresses on the black market.
“We want to start the day off with a warning: Everyone should be careful out there,” said Councilman Peter Vallone of Astoria, who is leading a public safety hearing today on ID theft. “One out of 10 people in the country are victims of identity theft, and New York City is one of the biggest areas in the country for ID theft.”
Online safety tips
Before making online purchases today:
» Look for third-party privacy verification on sites.
» Check to see that “https” precedes the Internet address and a closed lock or an unbroken key symbol is present in the lower portion of your Web browser before you enter personal info.
» Don’t transmit sensitive information in a public Wi-Fi hotspot you don’t trust, even if the transmission is encrypted.
» Periodically delete your Web browser’s “cookies.”
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