SOURCE: Affinion

Affinion

October 11, 2013 01:27 ET

Affinion Security Center Aids Incoming College Students in Protecting Themselves From ID Theft

Offers Tips Focused on Incoming Freshmen in Unfamiliar Territory

STAMFORD, CT--(Marketwired - Oct 11, 2013) - According to the Federal Trade Commission, the number of victims of identity fraud under the age of 19 tripled from 2010 to 2012. To help incoming college student, a vast majority whom fall into this category, Affinion Security Center, a leading provider of identity theft protection services, today announced a list of ways that students can protect themselves in their new environments.

  •  Free Wi-Fi can be costly -- While many universities offer free Wi-Fi throughout campus, incoming students are reminded that an unsecured connection can be open for thieves to intercept. It's OK to use free Wi-Fi, just not to send personally identifiable information or banking details.

  •  Community living shouldn't equal community passwords -- Incoming students should be aware that sharing a computer with a roommate may leave them susceptible to identity theft. If a student is going to share his or her desktop or laptop, that student should consider setting up password protected user profile for each roommate. Of course, it goes without saying that sharing passwords is virtually never a good idea.

  •  Your meal plan might become someone else's meal ticket -- Some colleges and universities actually publish a student's social security number on a student ID. Students are urged to be aware of what information is on their student ID's, and to be careful about who has access to this data.

  •  A smartphone without a password can have dumb results -- Smartphones offer thieves a huge amount of data, from address books and contact information through pictures and even past purchasing history. Taking the small step of protecting these devices with a passcode can make it much harder for thieves to cause damage using a smartphone they found.

  •  Accumulating credits doesn't mean opening lines of credit -- many financial institutions and credit card companies offer incoming students a new credit card, often at very attractive introductory rates. Students are urged to consider whether or not they really need the credit card being offered. Sometimes, filling out too many "free towel with application" offers can cause damage to a student's credit history by creating lots of 'hard inquiries,' which can be detrimental to a student's credit score.

"Over the past few years, thieves have taken advantage of a tremendous opportunity to defraud young people in the US, using a wide variety of scams," said Vin Torcasio, Director of Product for Affinion Security Center. "In many cases, following a few simple steps can help students significantly decrease the likeliness of becoming a victim."

Affinion Group has offices in Connecticut, Minnesota, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia. For more information, visit www.affiniongroup.com

About Affinion Security Center

Affinion Security Center, a division of Affinion Group, is a global leader in providing identity protection and data security solutions to corporations and individuals. For over 40 years Affinion Security Center has been powering many of the world's leading personal data protection and breach resolution solutions offered by local, national and multi-national enterprises in the financial, retail and travel industries. The company currently protects over 16 million subscribers with services including credit scores, credit monitoring, lost wallet protection and ID Theft insurance. For more information please visit www.affinionsecuritycenter.com.

Contact Information

  • Affinion Group
    1-800-282-3315