“Beware the Ides of March,” said the soothsayer to Caesar in William Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar.
We at Social Security recommend you beware not only the Ides of March, but every day—and every time—you go on the Internet. Identity theft and cyber-crimes are among the fastest-growing crimes in America.
Today’s savvy thieves have added identity to the list of things they can rob.
Their targets are people who use the Internet, and by the time you realize you’ve been robbed, Brutus may already have done his damage and escaped.
“Et tu, Brute?” Caesar said as his good friend Brutus betrayed him.
Even webpages and online sources that appear friendly and trustworthy could be plotting against you.
This is why you should protect your personally identifiable information, such as your Social Security number, date of birth and mother’s maiden name.
Never give this information out in an email or fill it in on a website asking for it, unless you are absolutely sure that you know and trust the source.
And even then, be cautious.
Often people ask me if their personal information with Social Security is safe.
Our online transactions are secure and convenient. You are protected when you are on our website.
If you think you’ve been the victim of an online Brutus, don’t simply tear your toga.
You should contact the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/identitytheft.
Or you can call 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338); TTY 1-866-653-4261.
Andrew Hardwick serves as a public affairs specialist with the Social Security Administration.