While we near the end of a devastating year of personnel information exposures, through major data breaches and scams, the threats from a number of directions continues.
“There were over 1,000 data breaches in 2018 alone with notable ones hitting major entities like Marriott, GovPayNow, USPS, Quora, and Facebook (Cambridge Analytica) that left our personal information exposed. Thieves then took it a step further with a myriad of scams including luring us with emojis and even memes!” according to the San Diego-based Identity Theft Resource Center.
The aftermath of those breaches should still remain a concern.
The ITRC lists many different methods scammers use to commit fraud — all of which are designed to steal personal information or money. These methods include creating fake websites, sending phishing links, adding card skimmers to ATMs and more.
The ITRC says criminals are always on the prowl for money and/or personal identifying information and will continue to do so in 2019.
One of the most proactive measures people can take is to consider freezing their credit, especially now that they are free to everyone regardless of their age or state in which they reside.
“It’s also a good idea to never carry your Social Security card or provide your Social Security number unnecessarily, shred all unwanted mail and documents that are no longer necessary and don’t give out personal information unless you initiated the contact,” the center explained.
About a week ago, the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure and Security Agency released information on Chinese government malicious cyberactivity targeting global information technology service providers — such as managed service providers and cloud service providers — and their customers.
The Justice Department also announced an indictment connecting spies working for the Chinese government for the hacking campaign. Prosecutors said the hackers were part of a Beijing-backed group, dubbed APT10, which various security companies had previously linked to China.
Carl Wright, chief commercial officer, San Diego’s AttackIQ, said, “The United States Justice Department’s indictments in China are a step in the right direction as the blatant theft of IP and other sensitive data is unacceptable. Despite these indictments, prosecutions are unlikely given that the hackers are Chinese residents and extraditions are a rarity.