Penn’s One Step Ahead
Almanac Tips on Identity Theft

ID Theft: A Growth Industry and What to Do
According to a recently-released survey report, 11.1 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2009 – a 12 percent increase from 2008. Over the same period, dollars lost to identity theft fraud grew 12.5 percent, to $54 billion. Thirty-nine percent of identity theft victims reported that stolen information was used to open new credit card accounts, compared to 33 percent in 2008…

Worried about identity theft? Monitor your Credit Report
Most identity theft involves abuses of credit. Identity thieves may use your data to open up new credit card accounts or use your existing account to charge purchases for themselves. One of the best protective measures is to keep a close watch on – or actually control – your credit report. You can do this in a variety of ways…

Phishing Attacks: Know the Do’s and Don’ts
The best and simplest way to protect yourself is to never log into a website from a link in an email and never send your password, PIN, or other financial information in response to an email. Other tips to remember are…

Travel and Identity Theft: An Unfortunate Connection
While the risk of identity theft affects everyone from infants to the deceased, the avid traveler is at heightened risk of falling victim to this crime. According to USA Today, several circumstances combine to make the frequent traveler a preferred target of identity thieves…

Strong Passwords: Do the Math
By “more complex,” we simply mean incorporating special non-alphanumeric characters such as @, #, &, +, % and others into your passwords whenever possible. Many of these are simply the shift characters along the top row of your keyboard. “Longer,” of course, speaks for itself. Did you know that by simply expanding your password from 8 to 12 (or more) characters and using special characters in addition to alphanumerics (A-Z, a-z, 0-9), you raise the difficulty in cracking that password by a factor of more than one hundred million?

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