Trends and Predictions For Identity Theft in 2013

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Editor’s note: With 2013 stretching out in front of us, we asked our friends at the ITRC to share their predictions about the big security issues we may expect to see in 2013.

Every year the Identity Theft Resource Center compiles a list of the biggest privacy trends and predictions.

This process takes place every year for two reasons:

  1. One is so that we can help victims who call in with new problems.
  2. The other is to help educate the public so that they may avoid becoming victims of the latest scams and crimes.

It is no surprise that our predictions for 2013 are heavy on technology.

More and more of our daily lives move online and we are increasingly aided by ever more rapidly advancing technology. The opportunities for identity thieves and scammers lie in this exciting sphere.

Here are the top three new problems we expect to see more of in 2013:

  • Mobile Payments: Our wallets have already begun the transition from our back pockets into our smartphones and we expect this trend to continue. Though represents amazing new convenience, it will likely create new opportunity for those who would steal another person’s identity. Whether or not the Near Field Communication systems within our devices are safe, there are multiple other places that the system can leak information. Vendors will also have to create safety measures for their Near Field Communication systems and when multiple parties have to work together to create a seamless process, something is bound to go wrong until the technology develops more.
  • Growth of Social Networking: Whether or not you are participating, social networking is exploding. The revolution has come very far from its humble beginnings and such sites as Friendster and MySpace. We expect this to continue and continue to influence every part of daily life in the immediate future (if it hasn’t already). From social multiplayer video games, to dating sites that broadcast your exact location, social networking is moving from a pastime to a sociological necessity. However, as we move towards constant connectivity, our privacy and private information is going to go out the window. We must learn the information that each of these new social networks broadcast and understand our privacy settings. Otherwise we will find ourselves in danger of exposing personal information or even bodily harm.
  • Mac Attacks: Gone are the days when someone could point to the apple on their laptop and proudly state that they had no concern for malware. As Apple products have become a growing part of the electronic market, cybercriminals have taken aim at the brand. They have developed malware specific to the brand and have taken advantage of the fact that everyone believes their Apple product is immune. In 2013, we suspect these attacks will continue to grow and soon the Apple App Store will be as seedy as its competitors.

We live in very exciting times and it seems as though nothing is impossible when it comes to technological development.

However, as this technology creates ease in our daily lives it also leaves us vulnerable to identity theft as control of our information goes from our hands to our machines.

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Nikki Junker

Nikki Junker is Social Media Coordinator and Victim Advisor at The Identity Theft Resource Center. She specializes in Identity Theft on social networks and smartphones. She enjoys working one on one with victims of identity theft as well as researching and writing about preventative measures for consumers.