Are you at risk for identity theft? Report finds SC, Ga. vulnerable

Consumer Report

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – If you worry about identity theft you may need to worry a little more or maybe more importantly: stay vigilant in protecting your personal information.

A report from WalletHub on 2019’s States Most Vulnerable to Identity Theft & Fraud indicates that South Carolina and Georgia rank Number 5 and Number 11 respectively.

It’s said that data breaches are becoming more commonplace.

“Just as soon as a company figures out ways to keep their system secure the guys who are trying to hack into it figure out a way to get around the changes they just made,” says Tom Stephens of the Better Business Bureau.

Stephens says while you can’t control what happens in terms of a data breach that there are some common sense things you can still do to protect yourself.

The Identity Theft Resource Center says in 2018 the number of personal records exposed doubled to about 446 million. While not everyone became a victim of identity theft, some will. “10 to 20 percent of people will be affected by ID theft during their lifetime,” said Stephens.

Experts advise to guard information through your email and to guard your email as well in terms of using strong passwords and changing passwords frequently. And Stephens s says to remember the old advice, too.

“Probably the most important thing is you don’t give personal information to anybody who asks for it unless they have a really good reason. And that includes something like applying for a loan,” he said.

He also advises that you should check your credit report annually and use the government-approved website which is annualcreditreport.com.

Stephens also says you may want to consider freezing your credit: “It really does lock things down and make it difficult if not impossible for someone to open a bogus credit account in your name.”

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