Wayne State University

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Security Awareness: Protect yourself against identity theft

September 12, 2016

Identity theft is a very real threat and it may take years to recover if you ever find yourself a victim of fraud. In fact, it is one of the most common and costly crimes in the country:


  • 15 million U.S. residents have their identities used fraudulently
  • 100 million Americans have at risk personal info due to databases being lost, stolen or accessed by unauthorized individuals
  • 7 percent of all adults have their identities misused
  • Every year, identity theft financial losses total upwards of $50 billion
  • 21 percent of those who responded to the annual ECAR study admitted to having an online account hacked
  • And 14 percent said they had a computer, tablet or smartphone stolen

How to protect yourself
Review your statements: Keep tabs on your bank accounts, credit card and any other payment statements on at least a monthly basis. If you see anything unusual, contact your provider right away.

Shred documents: Any papers with personal information should be shredded before being tossed in the trash. Not up for it? Opt for paperless billing and statements to make it easier.

Know when not to share: Avoid pop-up ads, spam email, texts and other messages that ask for personal information. Keep it limited on social media, too, and remember that what you share may compromise your security. Post photos after the vacation, think twice before sharing your location and be choosy about who you connect with. Wayne State University employees will never ask you to share personal information online.

Avoid public Wi-Fi: Always connect to WSU-SECURE when on campus. If you have to use a public network, make sure it is encrypted or use the WSU VPN before sharing personal information. Always use HTTPS for websites and SSL for login services like email. 

Secure devices: Encrypt your hard drive and always use the most up to date operating system, applications, software and plug-ins. And install anti-virus software!

Credit report: Get your credit report every year for FREE

Learn more at https://identitytheft.gov.