The Tech Spot @ ResNet
Complete Computer Care for students, faculty and staff.
Securing Your Digital Identity
Preventing Identity Theft
There are certain steps everyone should follow to ensure their digital identity is properly safeguarded.
- Use a strong password. Check your password strength at:
- Log into www.flashword.kent.edu and make sure you have answers to your challenge questions that are known ONLY to you, and not easily guessable.
- Choose challenge questions which would be difficult for someone else to guess (Be cautious of using information you might have available through social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace)
- Make sure your operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux) and web browsers have updates applied regularly
- Use Anti-virus software and make sure the software is kept up-to-date on a regular schedule. Kent state offers free Mcafee Antivirus software to all Students, Faculty, and Staff.
My Identity Was Stolen, What Should I Do?
When your identity is stolen, there are usually certain goals the person who stole it hopes to achieve:
- They are looking for monetary gain, in the form of credit taken out in your name
- They want to impersonate you, and misuse access that you have to steal additional information
- They want to harass you or ruin your reputation.
It can be a lengthy and sometimes painful process to recover from a stolen identity, but there are certain things you can do which will minimize the damage, and speed up the process.
Reset all passwords AND challenge questions:
One of the most important things for minimizing the damage of a stolen identity, is to lock the bad guys out quickly. You should go to any online banking websites, credit card sites, and to FlashWord (https://flashword.kent.edu) and change both your passwords and your challenge questions.
It is very likely if someone is misusing your identity, they will have seen the answers to your challenge questions. The safest way to secure those, is to choose an answer to those questions you'll remember, but would be impossible to guess - make up the answer, nobody will be checking to see if you answered it truthfully.
Place a Fraud Alert on your credit report:
Go to any of the three credit bureaus, and request a fraud alert to be placed on your report. The other two agencies will be notified automatically. This will ensure that creditors take extra precaution in verifying your identity, so they do not mistakenly issue credit to an imposter.
- Online: https://www.transunion.com
- Phone: 1-800-916-8800
- Online: https://www.experian.com
- Phone: 1-888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742)
- Online: https://www.alerts.equifax.com
- Phone: 1-800-685-1111 -- select option 4
Here are some of the many resources out on the web which provide advice for taking back control of your identity.
This page is maintained by the Office of Security and Access Management