Americans have misunderstandings about identity theft which leave them vulnerable to the crime, according to new research from security experts.
A survey conducted by the non-profit Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reveals that many US citizens are leaving themselves wide open to identity theft.
In an effort to clear up the confusion, the ITRC has launched a new ID Confidence website to educate consumers about the threat of identity theft.
The primary feature of the new site is a quiz that assesses users' day-to-day habits which could be increasing their vulnerability to identity theft.
After taking the quiz, users receive a vulnerability score and personalised protection tips based on their responses.
For each answer given, respondents receive an explanation of why they are vulnerable and a tailored suggestion on how to change their habits. Users can also see how their vulnerability scores match up against the national average.
"We were surprised to learn how little people know about identity theft despite the severity of the crime," said Jay Foley, executive director at the ITRC.
"Through this new website, we want to make consumers aware of everyday practices that could leave them vulnerable to identity theft and help them do everything possible to protect themselves from becoming a victim."
Top tips for protecting against identity theft include checking your credit report annually, removing all cards containing social security information from your wallet and shredding all sensitive documents with a confetti-cut shredder.
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