The online world is an exciting jungle where all kinds of activities take place – including identity theft! This refers to any kind of scam or deception resulting in the loss of important personal data. These could include passwords, credit card numbers, banking information, etc., which are stolen with the sole intention of committing fraud and crimes. For some, this could lead to huge financial losses that take months to resolve, if at all, while others have had to pay for crimes committed by someone who has stolen their identity.
Online identity theft can occur through downloaded malware, phishing or scams. It could also be through using unsecured wireless networks, sharing valuable personal information with untrustworthy people or breach of data records saved on government, corporate or banking sites.
Protection from Online Identity Theft
Here are some ways you can protect your identity from online theft:
- Use strong security software to protect your phone or computer from malicious malware. Ensure that it is up-to-date with the latest version.
- Always use strong passwords that include both upper and lower letters, symbols and numbers. You should also not repeat the same password for other accounts as the identity thief can easily get access to other information. Another mistake to avoid is incorporating personal names, birthdates, etc., into your passwords.
- Beware of phishing scams and spams appearing as links on emails, IM, social media and other sites. They usually have poor spelling and grammar and come associated with attractive offers and pictures.
- Always use secure websites when making transactions. Go with reputable websites having a URL beginning with the lock symbol and ‘https’ whenever making a financial transaction or sharing personal information. Check for reviews by others before purchasing from unknown websites.
- Freeze your account if you see any unknown transactions on your account. This could even include the appearance of an unsanctioned credit card or unknown loan linked to your account. Initiate immediate steps to have them terminated.
- Always be alert to missing financial bills in the mail or new credit cards that you didn’t apply for; or even bills for things you never bought.
Hope these tips were helpful to you!