Protect yourself from identity theft


October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and Vanderbilt IT has launched its second-annual campaign to make the Vanderbilt community aware of various security issues and how to respond to each through a series of blog posts.

New posts will be published Thursdays on the VUIT News Blog throughout the month of October.

This third post focuses on identity theft. Identity theft is when someone phishes for enough personal information to feed off of the victim’s finances. This can take the form of someone rummaging through the trash for old bank statements or even stealing a wallet packed with personal and financial information, such as a social security card and credit cards. The ways to steal someone’s identity in today’s age increase by the hour.

Identity theft can be avoided by practicing the following:

  • Be careful saving and storing information on your computer.
  • Stay on top of your credit information.
  • Keep records in a secure place, and keep track of your account numbers, expiration dates and telephone numbers.
  • Keep online transactions secure.
  • Be careful when giving out personal information over the phone.
  • Only carry essential documents with you.
  • Do not have new checks sent to your house.
  • Be cautious what you throw away.

REMEMBER: Stay alert and continue to research new methods that identify thieves use to steal personal information. The more you know, the better you can protect yourself and your family.

Please check the VUIT News Blog frequently to stay abreast of the tools you can use to protect yourself not only from identity theft, but other types of vulnerabilities as well. For more information about identity theft or how to protect yourself, contact VUIT Security Operations at