WatchdogID

Identity Index

  • Every piece of an identity poses risk when compromised

Full Name

Includes a first and last name; sometimes includes a middle name or initial.

Risks if this information is compromised: Can be used with other information to open fraudulent accounts, file fraudulent tax returns, and to defraud you through other criminal schemes.

Credit Card

Includes a credit card’s full or partial account number, expiration date, and security code.

Risks if this information is compromised: Thieves can purchase goods in-store and online, and leave you stuck with the bill.

Mitigation process if compromised: Depending on the institution, removing a fraudulent transaction can be time consuming and you may still be responsible for the transactions. Most institutions will close your account and issue a new credit card requiring extra steps on your part to ensure automatically billed services are moved to the new account.

Social Security Number

Your Social Security Number (or, more commonly, SSN) is the identifier given to every American citizenĀ  by the Social Security Administration. Originally, it was used to keep up with how much a citizen paid into Social Security, but it has become a key identifier for all manners of us.

Risks if this information is compromised: With your SSN, you become vulnerable to many types of frauds: new account, synthetic identity, tax return, criminal offenses, and others. This is the most dangerous piece of your identity to fall into nefarious hands.

Date of Birth

The day you were born is your Date of Birth, or DOB. Many medical and insurance companies use your date of birth as the primary way to identify you from people with a similar name.

Risks if this information is compromised: With the right amount of other information, your DOB can be used to defraud your insurance company which can lead to your insurance being dropped or becoming personally liable for the fraudulent charges.