Remember when the biggest cost associated with gaming was the cost of a game?

Video game companies have been under assault, with multiple networks being attacked by hackers looking to gain access to gamers' personal information. (I'm old enough to remember when the biggest cost of player a video game was actually going to a toy store to buy it, and it was usually around $40-$50).

People don't necessarily think of their online gaming accounts as a hub of personal information, but let’s briefly consider the information that a gamer stores there:

• Name
• E-mail
• User Name (online handle)
• Password

That's a lot of information in and of itself, and thieves gaining access to it can have a substantial impact.
For example, we believe that a majority of consumers don't use different password for many of the sites they interact with. Ask yourself this: How many sites do you log in to with the same e-mail/password combination?

• Social networking sites?
• Banking sites?
• Online retailers?

In addition, think of the other information stored in your online gaming account:

• Credit Card Information?
• Date of Birth?
• Address (to verify credit card)?

When you add it up, it's an awful lot of information that a thief can go after, and it's why we believe that gaming destinations have been such a target lately.

Posted by Mike

Don't let paying your taxes cost you (again).

Tax scams seem to crop up every year, both before taxes are filed (here's a list of ID theft tips we published before Tax day) and after, as Forbes has reported.

The latest scam (which has made the rounds over the years in different varieties), has thieves sending e-mails out to potentially unknowing customers, directing them to click on a link to rectify a problem with their return.

Of course, you may ask yourself why scams like this are recycled year after year, but the scary answer is the simple one:

Because they probably work.

Posted by Christine

Data Breach Roundup

• SC Magazine reports a Codemasters breach.
• The NY Times says Bethesda Gaming softworks and the Senate website were hacked.
London Health Programmes lost information, according to ComputerWeekly.javascript:void(0)
• The AP reports that Automated Data Processing, Inc suffered a breach.

Posted by Darragh

A guide to common ID Theft Terms

Patch.com has an excellent list of terms that are common to the ID Theft world. I thought this makes an excellent glossary.

Posted by Darragh

Data Breach Roundup

• The Wall Street Journal says Nintendo was breached.
• Forbes says the FBI wasn't immune from being breached.
• Alabama's Trinity Hospital suffered a breach, according to BeckersHospitalReview.com

Pass the Word

In April, Darragh discussed what Phishing is, and a couple of things that you can do to protect yourself. Well now, with GMail being hacked, it seems like a good idea to bring that up again, as a refresher, as well as to point out a great article in the Wall Street Journal about how to protect your Gmail account.

One of their tips is to use a "strong password." It's a tip that's been given in hundreds of locations, but what exactly does that mean? Well, a strong password is generally more than 12 characters, and uses capitalization, numbers and symbols. It also shouldn't be something that's connected to your life (for example, your dog's name).

Using strong passwords should be your normal course of action for every site you log in to, as should using a different password for every site you log in to. I suspect that a majority of people don’t do this.

Posted by Mike