Protect yourself from identity theft by using multifactor authentication

Hacker typing on a laptop

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and Vanderbilt IT has launched its 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 on the VUIT News Blog Thursdays throughout the month of October.

This second post focuses on utilizing multifactor authentication to protect yourself from identity theft. Identity theft is when someone phishes for enough personal information to steal from the victim. This can take the form of someone rummaging through the trash for old bank statements or even stealing a wallet packed with valuables, such as a Social Security card and credit cards. The ways to steal someone’s identity in today’s age increase by the hour.

Multifactor authentication is an additional layer of security that requires more than one form of verification to gain access. These additional layers of security make it much harder for someone to gain access to vital information through identity theft.

Typically, this type of authentication requires at least two pieces of evidence from two or more categories:

  • something you know, such as usernames, passwords and security questions
  • something you have, such as a verification code sent to your mobile device or email
  • something you are, such as fingerprint or retinal scans

REMEMBER: Stay alert and continue to educate yourself about new methods identity 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