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How to Reduce Your Chances of Being a Victim of Identity Theftby@sharepass
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How to Reduce Your Chances of Being a Victim of Identity Theft

by SharePassNovember 8th, 2022
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In 2021 alone, the Federal Trade Commission received a record 1.4 million identity theft complaints. Identity theft has been the number one crime reported to the FTC, making up 25% of all filed complaints. Social engineering attacks are the most successful cybercrime in the world, responsible for 70% of breaches. Data breaches have become the rule rather than the exception in the U.S. In the US alone, 212 million users were affected by a data breach in 2021 alone. The average adult generates 2 megabytes of data per second, all stored in database.

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In 2021 alone, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received a record 1.4 million identity theft complaints. For years, identity theft has been the number one crime reported to the FTC, making up 25% of all filed complaints.


Unfortunately, identity theft is not only incredibly common, but it is also the top criminal risk facing most companies and individuals.


As a result of large-scale data breaches and social engineering attacks, even the most tech-savvy people and organizations have proven susceptible.


A lack of education and awareness around the extreme prevalence of identity theft has bred an “it won’t happen to me” attitude, which hackers are only too happy to exploit. But the numbers don’t lie; sooner or later, it will happen to you. Probably more than once.


So, let’s review the major causes of identity theft, along with some simple steps you can take to lower your risk of exposure dramatically.

1. Data Breaches

Unlike identity theft, large-scale data breaches have been front-page news for years. Everyone from Big Tech to public utilities and local governments has proven susceptible. In the US alone, 212 million users were affected by a data breach in 2021 alone.


Take a moment to consider that the entire US population is only 330 million, and you get a sense that data breaches have become the rule rather than the exception.


Depending on the breach, exposed data can include login credentials, PII (like social security numbers or IDs), and contact information that can be used for phishing or similar scams.


Research indicates that the average adult generates 2 megabytes of data per second, all stored in some database.


For example, whenever you post something to social media or fill out an online form, personal and often valuable information about you is saved to a company database. If that company experiences a data breach, even years later, you’ll be at risk of identity theft. Leaked data is often uploaded to the Dark Web, where it’s made available for purchase by the highest bidder.

2. Social Engineering

The second most popular form of identity theft occurs via social engineering attacks like phishing. Daily, an average person receives upwards of five calls and emails from scammers claiming to be a bank, government agency, or friend.


With the explosion of social media in the past decade, scammers have even begun leveraging exposed Facebook and Instagram accounts to appear more legitimate.


Unfortunately, social engineering attacks are the most successful cybercrime in the world (responsible for 70% of all breaches).


As technologies and networks become more sophisticated, hackers are forced to rely on social techniques to compromise human trust rather than attempting to breach a system directly.


We often think of hackers as a group of nerds hidden behind a bank of computers, but it turns out that in many cases, a simple email asking for confirmation of your date of birth and social security number is all it takes.

3. Insider Threat

While this final category is the least likely to occur, it does have the highest potential cost. Law enforcement and security researchers find that many cases of identity theft can be traced back to a family member or colleague that abuses the trust they’ve been given.


While insider threats have increased in recent years, many cases remain unreported, as victims wish to protect a close family member or friend from legal repercussions.


Similarly, company employees with access to HR records or financial data may abuse their access to leverage personal or corporate identities for their gain.


It’s important to regularly review your credit reports and bank statements to detect suspicious activity as quickly as possible.

Sharing Sensitive Information on Your Terms

SharePass was created to provide individuals and organizations with a simple, cost-effective solution to combat most identity theft cases.


Since your data is most at risk while in transit or at rest in third-party databases, SharePass built a method for you to share necessary data while still maintaining the highest levels of digital privacy and ownership.


Instead of sharing sensitive information directly, SharePass first converts it into an encrypted link which is then shared with the other party. When the recipient clicks the link, the data is decrypted, and the link expires. It is that simple.


Once data is SharePassed, even if a data leak occurs in the future, hackers would only have access to a collection of useless links.


Here's a quick demo:

To protect users from social engineering attacks, SharePass enables you to set location, password, YubiKey, or IP-based conditions on who can decrypt your messages.


The best part is that SharePass works equally well across all your current platforms (including email, SMS, and messaging apps) and doesn’t require downloading any software.


Take SharePass for a test drive, and see how easy it is to take back control instantly and seamlessly over your data.


Don’t risk it. SharePass it!