Follow these tips to keep your personal information safe from voter ID theft this Election Day.
Identity theft is on the rise. Even with all of the safeguards and precautions in place today, in 2017, researchers found that 16.7 million people were victims and that number is expected to rise.
With the increasing attention around election season and fraud, now’s the perfect time to review steps you can take to protect your identity.
What is Voter Fraud?
Voter fraud is the term used to describe any manipulation of the electoral voting process to change, manipulate or delay voting counts.
The election of 2016 had at least one instance of data theft.
What’s especially alarming is the fact that a sophisticated computer hack isn’t necessary for this ID theft and hacking to occur. The data that can easily be accessed about individuals, like someone’s date of birth or address or driver’s license number, is all that’s needed.
An imposter simply poses as a voter and changes an individual’s information for voting.
Tips to Protect Your Personal Identifying Information
Stay Safe Online
Even though a cyber-attack isn’t how voter ID theft occurs, it’s still important to practice safe online behaviors and to be vigilant about your computer’s security – both online and off. Data stored on your computer’s hard drives and especially in the cloud could become vulnerable to theft.
Follow these tips for safety:
- Make sure all passwords are: strong, unique and frequently changed.
- Secure your home’s Wi-Fi network and be wary of those you connect to in public.
- Do not click on suspicious links or visit untrusted websites.
Protect Physical Documents
- Protect your mail. Check the box regularly, use a lock and have someone pick it up when you’re out of town.
- Lock it up. Keep important documents you need safe and tucked away at home. A fireproof, locked box where outsiders cannot access them.
- Invest in shredding. This is an important tip. Most fraudsters get the data they need by dumpster diving. If you’re tossing critical documents and even some junk mail into the trash without shredding it first, you’re putting yourself at risk.
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- Identity Fraud vs. Identity Theft: Know the Difference
- Visual Hacking: What It Is and How to Prevent It
- October is National Cybersecurity Month