It’s October 31, and you doze off while watching Halloween, waiting for trick-or-treaters to arrive.
The bell rings and you open up the door to see the masked faces of your visitors. There’s one with an Evil Clown mask. There’s a Jurassic dinosaur and Chewbacca and … what’s that other one? It looks familiar. Now that it’s in the light, you yell in terror as you recognize the face: it’s YOU!
Fortunately, your own scream wakes you up. Then you realize that you’ve just experienced an identity theft nightmare.
The nightmare of identity theft affects tens of millions of people every year. It disrupts lives, damages reputations, creates financial loss and provides a cloak of anonymity to criminals.
The global 2017 Unisys Security Index™ reports that 65 percent of those surveyed say they are seriously concerned about identity theft. They have good reason for concern.
Protecting yourself from identity theft is a challenge that pits you against an unknown collection of criminals. Some work alone, but many are part of organized gangs whose attacks span the range from straightforward to sophisticated.
You may not even know that you are the victim of identity theft until you see withdrawals from your bank account that you can’t explain, receive a bill for repayment of a loan to finance a degree at a college you never attended, discover that your medical records show a condition you don’t have or encounter other mysterious events.
You can’t completely prevent identity theft. However, you can take steps to reduce your risk.
Here’s a starting point:
Let’s put this into the perspective of your ClearPath Forward® systems. On one hand, publicly available NIST data in the National Vulnerability Database, which has compiled vulnerabilities since 1997, shows ClearPath® servers with fewer vulnerabilities than other system types, with no user data compromised.
On the other hand, a criminal who has stolen your identity doesn’t need to exploit system vulnerabilities to get to your data. The system and the applications that run on it think it’s you.
Even when the safest servers in the world protect your data, you still need to guard your identity.
Here are some additional resources to help you:
Curiously, none of the identity theft advice goes so far as to recommend, “Don’t open your door to small strangers wearing masks,” but that’s one for you to consider based on context.