WalletHub: Florida ranks in top 3 states for ID theft

FOX 35 News at 11 p.m.

- The personal finance website WalletHub recently looked at the states with the most cases of identity theft and fraud, and Florida ranked number three – D.C. was first, followed by California.

Most of us know the dangers of identity theft, but many of us continue swipe our cards without thinking twice.  So what can you do to protect yourself?

“I think I use my credit card more often than my debit card, because it’s more handy, and I could see what’s coming out and what not,” said Mark Abeja.

The introduction of the chip-based credit cards was the new and improved way to protect yourself, but experts say it’s only a matter of time before those too become vulnerable.

“Potentially, somebody’s going to figure out how to hack these too, and I already know some of the have been hacked," said Tom Jelneck of On Target Web Solutions.

Experts say the next safeguard on the horizon is biometrics, like how you use your fingerprint to open your iPhone.

“I know companies like Visa are actually actively pursuing and engaging in creating biometrics so that when you got to use your card, your thumb print identifies you,” Jelneck said.

But until that technology is rolled out, Jelneck says there are some simple things to keep in mind.

"One of the safest things you can do at a gas pump, is actually use a credit card, not a debit card, a credit card really protects you much more than a debit card,” Jelneck said.

He also recommends avoiding public WiFi.

“There’s technology called snooping where someone right across the street is actually picking up signals, and can pull data right out of the air,” Jelneck said.

Jelneck says the latest scheme identity thieves are using are bogus apps that look like legitimate apps, but are really stealing your information --  but there are some red flags.

“Misspellings in the copy on these apps, stay away from them, also the amount of downloads, if there’s only been 200 downloads on a particular app and you know it’s a big, large store, that should be a trigger that this isn’t the right app," Jelneck said.

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