In today’s busy life internet has provided a lot of conveniences to use. And undoubtedly this has become a part of our life.
Many people in today generation are totally relying on the internet to perform various tasks. This has made our life a lot easier as we can access any information, pay bills online, communicate with each other, search for anything, as well entertain our self, handle our online banks’ accounts and a lot more.
This is highly useful in our personal, financial, education, professional and many others fields.
But, with the growth of the internet, identity theft has also increased.
And in a recent study, it is shown that identity theft has also increased over recent years.
This is highly risky for the internet users. And there are plenty of ways through which the identity thieves access your confidential information.
Today in this article I am going to describe the complete information about identity theft and the best tips to prevent it.
What Is Identity Theft?
Identity theft I guess we all know what is it. But if you are yet not well aware of it then this is the time to get conscious
Identity theft is a crime where user’s personal information like name, ids, credit card details, bank accounts details and other confidential information is stolen by the third party.
The entire information is stolen with a view to committing identity frauds. By stealing your personal information the criminals can easily run up debts and also commit crimes in your names.
The criminals are day by day getting stronger and utilizing various techniques to steal your identity more easily.
The penalty of identity theft can be shocking and might takes years for restoring reputation, credit history and other aspects of personal identity.
Well, these days with the dependency of the internet it might be impossible to shield the private information with lower risk level.
But there are some tips that can help you lower the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft.
Tips To Prevent Identity Theft Risk:
Below check out some initial steps to become more secure and protect the personal information.
Let start with the first one:
1. Watch for Shoulder-Surfers:
During entering PIN number or a credit card number in ATM machines, or even in the computer at public places, be careful who is nearby you.
And make sure nobody is peering at you what you are pressing. So be careful while doing these things and avoid sharing it with others.
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2. Use Photo ID Verification:
Write “See Photo ID” rather than signing the backs of credit cards. Doing a signature on the back of your credit card will help the thief to easily make use of the credit card for making online and telephones purchasing.
In this type of purchasing signature verification is not required and it becomes a lot easier for them to use your card.
But in some rare cases where they need to verify the signature, you may put some additional security by directing them to match the picture on photo ID.
3. Destroy Digital Data:
It is necessary to destroy the data stored in the computer, if you are looking to sell trade or dispose of the computer system, hard drive, or even recordable CD, DVD.
Make sure your entire data is completely and permanently destroyed.
Well, simply deleting the data or reformatting the hard drive can be easier for anyone with little tech knowledge to recover data even from the formatted hard drive.
So here you need to do some extra steps rather than only deleting and formatting the hard drive.
4. Avoid Providing Personal Information Online:
Well, this is the main thing to get the risk of identity theft.
Posting the accurate personal information online will make you vulnerable to identity theft.
So while posting any personal information online exercise possible cautions like the information are invisible to others, or the given information could be misused and others.
In some cases, the personal information can be used by itself but in other cases, it can be the starting point to dig out more detailed information by you.
One can easily find out the detailed information such as email address, name posted, your date of birth, postal address and many other things.
5. Do Not Respond to ‘Phishing’ Attempts
The phishing emails and websites are designed for gaining access to the user’s personal information and use it for committing frauds.
So, while browsing the web it is very much important to avoid providing personal information on third party websites, forms, links etc.
Commonly the phishing scams take the form of clickable links in emails, third party asking for personal details, or links that guide you to download malicious software.
And this free software might compromise the stored information on your computer and sent it out to the criminals.
6. Utilizing Public WiFi
Using public Wi-Fi or connecting your device to unsecured wireless networks in public areas like cafes, airports, stations can significantly increase identity theft.
The criminals sniff the public wireless traffic or can even establish own fake hotspot. And when anyone gets connected to a fake hotspot, then anything a person type is seized by the criminal’s computer.
7. Be Careful while Shopping Online
While buying anything online it is important to be careful and first make sure the site is trustworthy.
Make sure the shopping site in not fake before submitting you’re personal and well as credit or debit card details.
Also look for the little lock icon or before the address look for (https: )
This will tell you the website you are browsing is completely safe.
8. Be Mysterious On Social Networking Websites
Many social networking websites offer the identity thieves the best place to track the individual information.
And the information you share on social networks like home, email address, phone number, children’s names, date of birth and so on, is what the tech criminals use for scams, phishing and account theft.
So, first always review privacy settings on the social networking websites and try to stay private in public.
Also, avoid adding anyone to your friend list as your personal information is precious and needed to be protected.
9. Polish Your Password Practices.
The password is the main door to the personal information and the identity thieves love to track password as this will open the entire doors.
So while choosing a password it is very important to be tough and organized.
Make sure to use different passwords for different accounts.
And also make the passwords strong with at least eight characters; add letters, numbers and symbols in your password.
Also hide them safely to avoid the risk of getting your password tracked.
Well, it is important to be careful, to avoid becoming a victim.
Here check out the possible prevention tips to avoid the risks of identity theft.
Apart from the online security, it is also important to be careful while using your credit card at stores, restaurant.
Try to avoid the frauds as much as possible, regularly check the credit cards statements to avoid the possibility of getting scammed.
And remember sooner you detect a problem and sooner you fix it.