A simple truth — the primary responsibility for protecting your identity lies with you.
Through no fault of their own, millions of people were affected recently by the Anthem breach and TurboTax fraud that gave hackers and fraudsters access to their Social Security and health care identification numbers, home and email addresses, and employment income and data.
Such incidents increase the possibility of identity theft for everyone, including NC State employees. Three university employees recently reported that someone used their stolen Social Security numbers to file fraudulent tax returns. Thus far, in OIT’s internal investigation, there is no evidence of compromised NC State accounts that can be linked to the fraudulent tax returns.
You may not be able to completely prevent your identity from being stolen, but you can take action to minimize the possibility.
- Be especially careful with whom you share any personally identifiable information (e.g., Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, financial account numbers, medical records).
- Do not store credit card or other personal information in your email account.
- Beware of phishing attacks. Never give your password to anyone! NC State will NEVER ask for your password.
- ALWAYS hover over links in email, posts or texts to verify their intended location.
- Never click on suspicious or unrecognized links in emails, including those from NC State.
- Stay alert. Pay attention to any change in your credit card or banking statements. People tend to overlook small amounts that appear on their statements, but identification thieves frequently use small purchases to test a card.
- If you suspect that any of your accounts have been compromised, change your password immediately.
- Use a unique and strong passphrase for each of your personal, banking and financial accounts.
- Monitor your credit reports. Check these at least once a year. You are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). You may want to stagger these and get one every four months rather than all three at once.
- Protect your personal computer by installing the latest security patches and antivirus software. You can install the free, university-provided antivirus software on up to three of your Internet-connected devices to reduce risk of virus infection and malware.
- Visit the IRS’ Identity Protection: Prevention, Detection and Victim Assistance website. See also Identity Theft Information for Taxpayers.
- If available, take advantage of free-credit monitoring and identity-protection services if you are a victim of identity theft.
- Arm yourself with security knowledge by watching brief security awareness videos provided by NC State at SANS Securing the Human.