Warning issued as data breaches increase in 2017

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(Photo supplied/State of Indiana)

The Indiana Department of Revenue is teaming up with the IRS to prevent Hoosiers’ tax information from getting into the wrong hands.

The organizations say data breaches are at a record high, leading to 145 million Americans having their personal information stolen.

Authorities advise residents to use the Indiana Attorney General’s Identity Theft Victim Kit along with these other tips:

  • Take advantage of any credit monitoring offers made by the company that was breached.
  • Take advantage of the free service to place a freeze on your credit accounts to prevent access to your credit records. At a minimum, place a fraud alert on your credit accounts by contacting one of the three major credit bureaus. A fraud alert on your credit records is not as secure as a freeze, but it’s free.
  • Reset passwords on online accounts, especially financial, email and social media accounts. Some experts recommend at least 10-digit passwords mixing letters, numbers and special characters. Use different passwords for each account and use password manager to keep track of your unique passwords.
  • Use two-factor authentication wherever it is offered on financial, email and social media accounts. Two-factor authentication requires entry of a username and password and then a security code, generally sent via text to a mobile phone you’ve pre-registered.

Data breaches increased nationwide at 29% during the first half of 2017.

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