When it comes to protecting Personal Identifying Information
(PII) and reducing risk of identity theft, the more accurate
information you have, the better off you are.
Here the Investigators of Kroll’s Cyber Security & Information
Assurance practice share some common myths about identity
theft and the reality of each:
Myth: I use cash so I won’t become a victim of identity theft.
Reality: There are two things to consider: First, just because
you have not established a credit account, that doesn’t mean
somebody else will not use your PII to obtain credit. Second,
identity theft affects far more than credit. Identity theft can
involve criminal acts, medical care, banking, employment and
more. It is important to monitor and protect your identifying
information as much as possible regardless of your favorite
Myth: My credit report is monitored. I don’t have to worry
about identity theft.
Reality: Credit report monitoring can help you discover potential
credit-related identity theft early. While it may then provide an
opportunity to take steps to prevent other cases of credit-related
identity theft, you must approach credit report monitoring as a
valuable tool of detection rather than prevention. As stated in the
previous myth/reality, a thief can use your PII to accomplish much
more than opening new credit accounts.
Myth: Sensitive data can be transmitted safely via e-mail.
Reality: Unless you are encrypting your email message and
sending the encryption key separately, email is not a safe way
to share PII. Note that legitimate organizations will not ask you
to share sensitive information via email.
Myth: You must supply your Social Security number (SSN)
if asked for it.
Reality: The Social Security Administration explains on their
website, that there are specific laws requiring a person to
provide his or her SSN for certain purposes. Entities that request
your SSN for legitimate purposes include, but are not limited to,