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identity theft

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Announcing our New Identity Theft Product!

February 13, 2013
College Identity Theft

The new site only just launched, and it doesn’t stop there! This week we are thrilled to announce the launch of our new Identity Theft Protection product. Help protect yourself with IdentitySecure™, a preferred partner of GradGuard™!

According to James Van Dyke, president of Javelin Strategy and Research  “People ages 18 to 24 are at the greatest risk [of identity theft] because it takes them longer to figure out that they have been defrauded.” Identity Theft protection helps young adults monitor their information so that instances of identity theft can be caught and prevented early.

Head on over to the new GradGuard.com to check out our new Identity Theft product!

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5 Things Students Should Know About the Risk of Fraud

November 27, 2012
id theft

223/365 - my bank sucks
The 2012 Javelin fraud survey found that someone becomes a victim of fraud every 2.7 seconds! So if you think fraud is irrelevant to you, think again. Anyone can be at risk for online security breaches, so it’s important to get the facts. Below are five things you should know:

1. Those notified are more likely to experience fraud
The same Javelin survey reported that consumers who were notified that their information had been breached were 9.5 times more likely to experience fraud than those who didn’t receive a notification. In fact, 19% of those who received data breach notifications were fraud victims, compared to just 2% of those who did not get notification. So keep this in mind if you ever receive an email notifying you that one of your accounts was hacked!

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Protect Your Identity This Holiday Season

November 21, 2012

Living on Credit Cards

Along with holiday cheer, this is a season of a lot of shopping. Gift-giving lends itself to an increase in spending, as do holiday travel and events. With the rise of identity theft, however, shopping this season can be less than joyous if someone gets ahold of your information. The Hanover Insurance Group has help and tips for avoiding identity theft this season, thanks to their release “ID Theft Is On The Rise–Protect Your Identity This Holiday Season.
“As shoppers get excited about holiday gifts and bargains, it’s easy to forget that there are people out there waiting to take advantage of what should be a joyful season,” said Mark Desrochers, president, personal lines insurance at The Hanover. “Because of the emotional and financial impact identity theft can have on an individual and their family, we thought it was important to offer some tips to help avoid identity theft.”

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Are You A Cyberstalker?

November 2, 2012

Is “Facebook stalking” as harmless as the jokes we make about it? We log on to check out that new friend we made in class, or to see what the ex is up to, or investigate further when the “What! That girl from high school is getting married?” moment pops up on the newsfeed. But could Facebook stalking be taking a toll on our mental health, our social lives and does constantly checking out your ex keep you from finding dates? This infographic from OnlineCollegeCourses.com investigates:

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Safe Online Shopping

March 28, 2012

Living on Credit Cards

Online shopping is fun, convenient, and gives you access to many more options than the stores close to your home.  While I never shopped online much in high school I’ve found that while at college, online shopping is an easy way to get my retail fix without the hassle of leaving campus and the limits of the local malls.  However, with this activity comes potential risk.  Identity theft and false or unethical retailers are real problems that you need to be aware of.  This doesn’t mean you should completely avoid online shopping, but it does mean that you should be careful.

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Cyberstalking Awareness: Protect Yourself On-Campus and Beyond With These 7 Steps

January 31, 2012

January is Stalking Awareness Month, so we’re taking an in-depth look at cyberstalking and how it affects life on campus. Cyberstalking has grown from a noteworthy trend in 1999 to a cause for serious attention and caution in 2012. Digital communication, social networking websites and mobile Internet has changed the scope of the cyber world, and all are prominent on college campuses. Though many students are often connected, there are many ways to protect yourself.

The United States Department of Justice defines cyberstalking as “The use of Internet, e-mail or other electronic communications devices to stalk another person.” For today’s college student, the line between an offline life and an online one is blurred, or never existed at all. This high use-rate of digital communication puts college students in a very high-risk population for cyber-stalking in a way unimaginable when cyberstalking first landed on the DOJ’s radar in 1999.

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Young Adults Slowest to Respond to Theft of Personal Financial Data

August 19, 2010

GradGuard has recognized that ID Theft and privacy of college students is a major concern and risk.   As a result, we have included ID Theft & Resolution services within the GradGuard Student Protection Plan.   The probability for young adults becoming a victim of ID Theft is high, it is also important to recognize that the potential financial risks from losing your tuition investment or having an accident or illness is even higher.    As a result, GradGuard’s Student Protection Plan includes tuition refund insurance, ID Theft & Resolution service and Emergency Medical Evacuation benefits.   So bottom line, protect yourself from ID Theft, but withone purchase get greater peace of mind for the incidents that may interrupt your students education.

For more insight, please read the article follows by By Howard Schwartz from the Connecticut BBB which Offers Tips for College Students to Protect Themselves Against ID Theft.

“Many young adults only learn how to handle their finances once they begin paying bills accumulated in college, however they often do not learn about preventing or discovering identity theft until they become victims. According to the 2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report released by Javelin Strategy and Research, more than 11 million people became victims of identity theft in 2009. Young adults aged 18-24 took the longest to detect identity theft—132 days on average—when compared to other age groups. Subsequently, the
average cost ($1,156) was roughly five times more than amounts lost by other age groups.

Connecticut Better Business Bureau President, Paulette Scarpetti, says the ins and outs of identity theft are as important as any other element of money management. “Fixing the damage caused by identity theft can be an expensive and lengthy process, depending on a
number of factors, including whether the thief passed on the information to a third party or was caught.

“ID theft is much simpler to prevent than fix, and it is a vital lesson in sound money management practices.”
Connecticut BBB offers these tips for college students to fight identity theft:
-School mailboxes are not always secure and often can be easily accessed in a dorm or apartment. Have
sensitive mail sent to a permanent address such your parent’s home or a post office box.
-Important documents should be stored under lock and key, such as in a filing cabinet. This includes social
security card, passport, checks and bank and credit card statements.
-Shred any paper documents containing sensitive financial information rather than just tossing them out.
Also, shred any credit card offers that come in the mail.
-Never loan your credit or debit card to anyone, even a friend. Also just say “no” if a friend wants you to
cosign for a loan or financing for an item such as a TV.
-Make sure your computer has up-to-date antivirus and spyware software. Keep your computer safe from
emerging hacking technologies used by online thieves by installing updates and patches to your computer’s
operating system and browser software.
-Always check your credit and debit card statements closely for any suspicious activity. The sooner you
identify potential fraud, the less likely you will suffer in the long run.”

Great advice for all students and their parents.

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ECMC Loses Private Information of 3.3 Million People

April 1, 2010

Education Credit Management Corporation is a company that guarantees federal student loans. On Friday, March 27 2010, the company released a statement that private data on 3.3 million nationwide had been stolen from its headquarters in Minnesota.

The information contained the names, addresses, Social Security numbers and dates of birth of borrowers but no financial or bank account information.

The theft was discovered on Sunday March 21, 2010 and law enforcement was immediately contacted.  The information was not released to the public until ECMC received permission from authorities.

ECMC has taken action to help contain the situation by hiring the credit protection agency, Experian.  Experian will provide free credit monitoring and protection services to the borrowers affected from the incident.  Those that are affected will soon receive a letter in the mail from ECMC on how to get registered with a Experian and get their protection services started.

Richard Boyle, president and CEO of ECMC, released a statement regarding the matter,

“We deeply regret that this incident occurred and the stress it has caused our borrowers and our partners and are doing everything we can to help protect our borrowers’ identity and personal information”

Department of Education spokesman Justin Hamilton said protecting student privacy is a top priority. Hamilton announced the departments involvment in solving the problem in a statement given to the press,

“We are working with ECMC to make sure that affected individuals are provided with resources to protect their information and to provide with them with identity theft insurance”

If you believe that this incident could affect you personally, it is encouraged that you visit ECMC’s website for more information http://www.ecmc.org