In recognition of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, ABA offered tips consumers can use to prevent identity theft, which is estimated to have affected 17.6 million Americans in 2014. “Fraudsters can use your personal information to conduct a variety of illegitimate transactions, such as opening bogus accounts, filing tax returns and getting access to medical care,” said ABA SVP Doug Johnson. “As a result, consumers are urged to safeguard their personal information before it gets into the wrong hands.”
To help guard against identity theft, ABA recommended that consumers refrain from sharing sensitive information over the phone or on social networking sites, and use complicated passwords that change frequently. Consumers should also shred sensitive documents; keep an eye out for missing mail; monitor their credit report and bank accounts closely; and protect their computers and mobile devices with antivirus software and passcode locks.