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FTC Alert on Identity Theft

On May 24, 2017, the Federal Trades Commission published an article discussing just how quickly personally identifiable information is used once stolen. Below is an excerpt from the article written by Ari Lazarus, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC. A link to the article can be found below.

"At the FTC’s Identity Theft workshop this morning, our Office of Technology staff reported on research they did to find out.

First, they created a database of information about 100 fake consumers. To make the information realistic, they used popular names based on Census data, addresses from across the country, email addresses that used common email address naming conventions, phone numbers that corresponded to the addresses, and one of three types of payment information (an online payment service, a bitcoin wallet or a credit card).

They then posted the data on two different occasions on a website that hackers and others use to make stolen credentials public. The criminals were quick to pounce. After the second posting, it took only nine minutes before crooks tried to access the information."

With how quickly stolen data can be used, it is a good reminder to use complex passwords and to not use the same password for multiple sites. It is also suggested to use two-factor authentication when possible.

How fast will identity thieves use stolen info?