• “Our paper is about using Bitcoin to prevent online services from getting away with lying,” says MIT graduate student Alin Tomescu.

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Using Bitcoin to prevent identity theft

System piggybacks on the digital currency’s security protocols to thwart hijacked servers.

Larry Hardesty | MIT News Office
May 23, 2017

A reaction to the 2008 financial crisis, Bitcoin is a digital-currency scheme designed to wrest control of the monetary system from central banks. With Bitcoin, anyone can mint money, provided he or she can complete a complex computation quickly enough. Through a set of clever protocols, that computational hurdle prevents the system from being coopted by malicious hackers.

At the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy this week, researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory are presenting a new system that uses Bitcoin’s security machinery to defend against online identity theft.

“Our paper is about using Bitcoin to prevent online services from getting away with lying,” says Alin Tomescu, a graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science and first author on the paper. “When you build systems that are distributed and send each other digital signatures, for instance, those systems can be compromised, and they can lie. They can say (more…)

Dumpster Diving May Create Identity Theft Problems

The old adage, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” takes on a new and scary meaning when applied to dumpster diving and identity theft. Unfortunately, not everyone who sorts through trash is looking for day-old bagels. Some dumpster divers are actually identity thieves, and they are looking for your personal information.

Preventing Garbage-Related Identity Theft

When it comes to protecting the info contained in your documents, there are measures you can take. When it comes to personal data, the most important thing to remember is to not get careless. If you toss out anything that should be kept private, you may be inviting someone to commit fraud in your name.

identity theft problems

  • Create a secure space for papers.
    If you have documents that you intend to hold on to, make sure that you have a safe place to put them. A strongbox or a locked file cabinet would be ideal. In the event of theft, you don’t want your personal info to be exposed to theft along with your other valuables. Also, if these papers are securely kept in one place, you will be less likely to throw them away by mistake.
  • Consider buying a shredder.
    For documents that you wish to dispose of, putting them (more…)

How Long to Keep Tax Records and Other Documents

http://www.consumerreports.org/taxes/how-long-to-keep-tax-documents/

 

How Long to Keep Tax Records and Other Documents

You’ll also want to safely keep other documents for the right amount of time

Tax season is the perfect time to start culling your paper piles and computer files and getting everything in order. You’ve already delved into your financial records, so you might as well take the time to organize them.

Why, you may wonder, should you make tax season even worse than it already is? There are plenty of good reasons for getting your papers in order. One is that if you haven’t yet completed your taxes, getting your paperwork in order will reduce tax-preparation anxiety. And if you have already filed your taxes, you’ll want to know how long to keep tax records and other financial papers in case you’re audited.

There are other instances when being organized can pay off. If you’re meeting with a financial adviser or an attorney, you don’t want to spend hours wading through clutter to find the documents you need. If there’s a fire, flood, or theft, you’ll need access to essential documents quickly. And if you become ill, well-organized paperwork will make it easier for your loved ones to locate your health-care power of attorney, insurance policies, medical (more…)

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/identity-theft-survey-results-consumers-need-more-education-and-help-300457205.html

 

Identity theft survey results: Consumers need more education and help

Experian launches IdentityWorks(SM), a comprehensive product to detect, protect and resolve identity theft and fraud; survey underscores consumer need


NEWS PROVIDED BY

Experian

15 May, 2017, 06:00 ET


COSTA MESA, Calif., May 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — News of data breaches and the risks of identity theft and fraud persist, but consumers’ vigilance and awareness haven’t kept pace. A national survey by Experian, the world’s leading global information services company, revealed that not only is America’s collective guard down, but people feel they are at a disadvantage when it comes to identity theft. The survey results coincide with Experian’s national launch of IdentityWorksSM, a comprehensive set of identity theft protection products offering consumers a powerful and user-friendly array of features, including Experian CreditLock and extensive dark web monitoring.

IdentityWorks helps consumers recognize potential identity fraud and respond to it, arming them with credit monitoring and alerts, and credit reports and scores — which are often the first indicators of identity theft and fraud. This new product extends well beyond credit information to include dark web monitoring and alerts, and noncredit transaction monitoring (bank account, Social Security number, change of address, etc.) to detect when a (more…)

Identity theft ring busted after suspects spend $150K at Macy’s

http://nypost.com/2017/05/09/identity-theft-ring-busted-after-suspects-spend-150k-at-macys/

Identity theft ring busted after suspects spend $150K at Macy’s

An identity-theft ring was busted Tuesday for using forged credit cards to rack up $150,000 in luxury cosmetics at Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square, officials said.

The six defendants allegedly used credit car​​d information stolen from more than a dozen customers at major banks and embarked on a pricey shopping spree in Dec. 2015.

The crew spent thousands on high-end products, including La Mer, Lancome and Clinique, and made as many as 20 purchases in a single day, according to a statement from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Defendants Cheng Feng Li, Jing Jing Li, Yong Mei Lin, Yu Hai He, Yu Lan Dong and Bohan Li pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court to charges of grand larceny, identity theft and possession of a forged instrument.

6 Shredding Tips To Prevent Identity Theft

THE BLOG

12/03/2013 12:56 pm ET | Updated Feb 13, 2014

6 Shredding Tips To Prevent Identity Theft

Shredding is fun! Repeat that 10 times and you just might start believing it. Certainly shredding is a tad bit of work, but that’s what kids and interns are for!

4HShredding might be inconvenient, but it’s absolutely necessary—and it’s fundamental to protecting your identityand the identities of those who have entrusted you with their data. Shredding is like recycling, eating well and exercise: You may not always want to do it, but it’s good for you.

Here’s how to better manage your shredables:

  1. Primary documents: I shred everything that comes in the mail with my name on it and that I don’t need. Shred or destroy prescription bottles, CDs with data on them, and supporting tax documents older than three years (some say seven), including investment statements, bank statements, canceled checks and paystubs.
  2. Secondary documents: Documents like ATM receipts, credit card statements, utility bills and insurance policies should all be kept for two years. The only reason to keep these is in case you determine a mistake was made so you can go back and look. Otherwise, if you can access any of these documents (more…)

6 Shredding Tips To Prevent Identity Theft

6 Shredding Tips To Prevent Identity Theft

Shredding is fun! Repeat that 10 times and you just might start believing it. Certainly shredding is a tad bit of work, but that’s what kids and interns are for!

4HShredding might be inconvenient, but it’s absolutely necessary—and it’s fundamental to protecting your identityand the identities of those who have entrusted you with their data. Shredding is like recycling, eating well and exercise: You may not always want to do it, but it’s good for you.

Here’s how to better manage your shredables:

  1. Primary documents: I shred everything that comes in the mail with my name on it and that I don’t need. Shred or destroy prescription bottles, CDs with data on them, and supporting tax documents older than three years (some say seven), including investment statements, bank statements, canceled checks and paystubs.
  2. Secondary documents: Documents like ATM receipts, credit card statements, utility bills and insurance policies should all be kept for two years. The only reason to keep these is in case you determine a mistake was made so you can go back and look. Otherwise, if you can access any of these documents online, shred them now. Homeowner-related documents should be kept as (more…)

identity theft after county published sensitive information online

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/investigations/thousands-exposed-to-identity-theft-after-county-officials-publish-sensitive-information-online

Thousands potentially exposed to identity theft after county published sensitive information online

Denver7 investigation spurs sweeping changes

Ryan Luby

6:09 PM, May 8, 2017

10:27 PM, May 8, 2017

larimer county | fort collins | identity theft | social security number | ryan luby

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. — The Larimer County Clerk and Recorder’s office made sweeping changes to how it conducts business amid a Denver7 investigation, which revealed how officials had published sensitive information belonging to thousands of people online for months.

Among the records were child support liens, death certificates, and commercial lending filings. Many of them contained a variation of social security numbers and dates of birth — the types of information that would be valuable to identity thieves.

Early last week, the county clerk was hesitant to redact or remove the information from the online portal, but finalized changes on Friday. Though the sensitive records are no longer available online, the risk could remain for the people whose identities were exposed.

Will McDonough called the Denver7 Investigates tip line to bring the issue to light after discovering his social security number on the Larimer County website.

“It came to light that there were some documents out on the Larimer County site…that had my personal, identifiable information on it,” McDonough (more…)

Identity Theft Protection: 10 Ways To Secure Your Personal Data

I write about technology and online marketing.

Identity Theft Protection Methods

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Shutterstock

I was recently the victim of a hack. My identity was impersonated and the information was used to steal my personal data from GoDaddy. How could this happen I asked myself? The cybercriminal got hold of my social security number, used it to locate my credit card number from my bank, then used that credit card number to access my GoDaddy profile by socially engineering a customer service representative embedded at the hosting giant’s offices.

Don’t get me wrong here. I’m a huge GoDaddy fan. In fact, I’ve been with the company for over a decade. And, to GoDaddy’s claim, they did give me a massive account credit to use towards any purchase. Clearly, I won’t have to pay for domains or hosting for a very long time to come. However, it doesn’t feel good being the victim of an identity theft. When it’s a one-off situation, it feels even worse. This wasn’t part of some greater scheme that infiltrated the company to release millions of records of consumers; it was a very personal and private attack.

Now, if you’re thinking (more…)