How to prevent online identity theft?
Technological advancement has made our lives more and more data dependent. There has been a growing need to protect personal data that remain vulnerable to theft due to system breaches. A sizeable population worldwide is a victim of data theft as cybercrimes are on the rise because identity theft is big business, and personal data is in big demand on the dark web. Losing personal data that includes everything from usernames and passwords to banking information, social security number, credit card details, and health IDs can have severe consequences. You can lose your money as well as your credibility might be at stake when your identity is maligned and misused by fraudsters. According to the FTC, about 9 million Americans are victims of identity theft every year due to cyberattacks on databases of governments and business organizations.
How identity theft happens
Cybercriminals use a variety of technologies and tools to access personal information from various databases. The stealing techniques have evolved with the progress in technology. Criminals have come a long way from the early days of stealing personal data by accessing your mailbox and laying their hands on the trash for accessing bank statements and bills. Now they can steal purses and wallets or making a copy of your credit at times when you hand it over to the waiter at the restaurant for processing your payment.
Phishing is another common tactic of duping people by luring them to respond to malicious email or download malicious malware and, in the process, steal personal data from computers and smartphones. Other means of theft include rigging ATMs with skimming devices to access personal data, steal money, or break into unsecured wireless networks.
How to protect your identity
To protect your personal information from identity theft, you can take the following measures.
Spot scams and spam–It is not always easy to identify phishing that can happen across social networking sites and emails because many of these look very legitimate. To stay safe, never click on any link that appears to be from your bank or any other organization. Instead, go to the bank’s website and find your way to the respective page, which will save you from falling into the trap of fraudsters.
Secure your device– Keep your computer or smartphone protected with strong passwords and updated security software that can prevent malicious attacks that attempt to infect the device and allow criminals to steal your personal data. Keep the operating systems of the devices updated with the latest security protection.
Identity Guard for family protection – Avail the services of some company that offer identity guard for family protection services to help in monitoring online activities closely with the help of AI to detect suspicious activities and protect your data from breaches.
The company is aware of the advancements made by criminals and use appropriate technology to thwart their hacking attempts and thus protect your data. So, they are in a better position to help your online protection.
Isabella Rossellini is a marketing and communication expert. She also serves as content developer with many years of experience. She has previously covered an extensive range of topics in her posts, including business and start-ups.