Not signing up for online accounts could pose bigger security risk

FORT MYERS, Fla. Not signing up for online accounts does not prevent identity theft, one security expert says.

Carrie Kerskie, director of the Identity Fraud Institute, said thieves have taken control of people’s bank accounts, credit cards, and even phones, by purchasing pieces of identifiable information on the “dark web,” including birth dates and social security numbers.

The thieves then use that information to access current accounts with a phone company or bank, Kerskie said.

“One client of mine, he lost quarter of a million dollars over the last six months because they had done this,” she said. “He refused to setup online access, he thought he would be a greater chance of becoming a victim, but unfortunately now the opposite is true.”

Online accounts can be watched daily, Kerskie said.

And when creating answers to security questions, using items like a mother’s middle name instead of her maiden name will make the account tougher to crack, Kerskie said.

Reporter:Lindsey Sablan