LifeLock Survey finds Summer Travelers Overshare, Putting Themselves
at Risk for Identity Theft
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#idtheft–Today, LifeLock,
Inc. (NYSE: LOCK) revealed findings from a new survey examining
peoples’ behaviors while using home sharing and ridesharing services,
and the extent to which users are putting their identities at risk
during travel. Surprisingly, the research found that the risks involved
had less to do with the services and more with consumers’ habits and
misjudgments when using them.
“With summertime travel underway, more people are turning to ride and
home sharing options for their vacation needs,” said Paige Hanson, Chief
of Identity Education at LifeLock. “These services are certainly
convenient for travelers, and typically come at a lower cost, but it’s
important to use caution and participate in the sharing economy in a
safe way,” Hanson added.
Among the top findings related to home sharing, 41 percent of
Americans, including 57 percent of Millennials, admit they have looked
through personal items when visiting someone else’s home. Meanwhile,
nearly half of Americans (49 percent) confessed they frequently fail
to lock up personal documents in their own homes.
Fifty percent of Americans think it’s riskier to leave the doors to
their home unlocked for a week than to rent their home to a stranger.
However, both behaviors may leave unsuspecting individuals susceptible
to identity theft if their personal information is accessible.
Risky behaviors extend beyond house sharing—forgetfulness in
ridesharing was found to be a serious issue. The data found that
nearly 1 in 4 Americans (24 percent), including 41 percent of
Millennials, have left a valuable personal item, such as a wallet or
mobile phone, in a taxi or ridesharing service.
Before heading out on a vacation of their own, 37 percent of
Americans, including 42 percent of Millennials, are unlikely to put
their mail on hold with the post office, possibly exposing personal
information to others who may have access to the travelers’ unsecured
or overflowing mailboxes.
Additionally, 41 percent of Americans, including 53 percent of
parents, admitted to throwing away documents that included personal
information, such as their phone number or bank account information,
in a trash can that’s available to the public.
“LifeLock encourages people to triple check that they’ve locked up
anything that includes personal information before opening the door to
renters. This rule applies to your “typical” personal documents,
including birth certificates, bank statements, utility/medical bills and
Social Security cards. It should also extend to other items such as
blank checks and even prescription medicine bottles, that are also a
trove of personal information. In short, you can never be too safe.
Unfortunately, having a stolen identity can haunt you for life.”
Other steps consumers can take to better protect themselves include:
Put your mail and newspapers on hold. There’s nothing like an
overflowing mailbox to tell thieves you’re not home – except, perhaps,
a stack of newspapers in the driveway. The USPS will hold your mail
for you and deliver it when you get back.
Have a separate Wi-Fi account for renters and guests: By doing
so, you can reduce the potential of having your network hacked. Also,
if renters are conducting illegal behavior using your Wi-Fi account,
having a separate account can reduce the negative implications of
having it tied to your name.
Always check the seat before hopping out of a taxi or
rideshare. This simple step could save you more than just the headache
of replacing lost items—think about the personal information stored on
your phone, for instance.
Add a password to your devices, and if your phone uses an
Android or iOS platform, enable the “lost phone” function so if it’s
misplaced or stolen, you can track the device and notify the finder—or
even wipe its contents remotely.
For more insights into these findings, and tips on reducing exposure to
risk in the sharing economy, visit our blog LifeLock
The LifeLock Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com)
among 1,002 nationally representative U.S. adults, ages 18+, between
March 24th and 30th, 2016, using an email invitation and an online
survey. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.
Inc. (NYSE:LOCK) is a leading provider of proactive identity theft
protection services for consumers and fraud and risk management
solutions for enterprises. LifeLock’s threat detection, proactive
identity alerts, and comprehensive remediation services help provide
peace of mind for consumers amid the growing threat of identity theft.
Leveraging unique data, science and patented technology from ID
Analytics, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary, LifeLock offers identity
theft protection that goes beyond credit monitoring. As part of its
commitment to help fight identity theft, LifeLock works to train law
enforcement and partners with a variety of nonprofit organizations to
help consumers establish positive habits to combat this threat.
Sydney Brown, 415-767-7788