Although we love online banking, financial identity theft is becoming a more common situation.
And believe me, you don’t want criminals using your accounts to make unauthorized purchases and impersonate you for a multitude of reasons — none of which are good.
In this post, we put together a list of tips to help you prevent experiencing one of the most harrowing crimes known to the internet — identity theft.
Don’t Give out Personal Information to Just Anyone.
Social media is a treasure trove for cyber criminals seeking to acquire confidential information. And there is no denying it: the Internet paves a way to online identity theft.
A very simple tip is to keep all your personal information to yourself.
Never post personal information such as your address or phone number, and be careful about photos that you are taking which could be used to gain personal information about you.
Avoid Spam and Scams
Your mailbox can contain questionable messages and suspicious links, and although some phishing scams are easy to identify, other phishing attempts can look very legitimate.
Remember, phishing scams are used to trick users into divulging personal data that they wouldn’t have otherwise shared. Online thefts craft realistic and convincing fake emails, instant messages, phishing websites to deceive their victims into sharing sensitive information like login passwords, bank account details, social security number, or credit card numbers.
So always double check with an organization before responding to an email that requests personal information, and if you’re accessing your online bank, check its domain name carefully.
Secure Your Route
Internet connections, like Wi-Fi, can be an avenue for criminals to access the device you’re using. Although you love using free Wi-Fi in your local coffeehouse, you need to think twice for the sake of avoiding identity theft.
If you use a free wireless network, anyone else on the same network can intercept all your data and even log into any accounts you’re currently logged into.
TIP: Use VPN as an extra layer of security as it scrambles and encrypts all your data, making it impossible for anyone trying to decipher what you’re doing online.
Use Strong Passwords
Listen, a strong password goes a long way in avoiding identity theft. Always use alphanumeric passwords since they are much harder to crack. You can also change them from time to time and make sure you use unique passwords for every website.
Monitor your Accounts
If you want to be immediately alerted when an unauthorized person uses your credit cards or if there’s a misuse of your debit, checking or savings accounts, always, it’s important to set up real-time notifications. Some banks offer this kind of service so make sure to consider getting one.
Also, grab an extra layer of security by using a third-party identity theft protection. For one, identity protection services, like Identity Guard, not only secure your account but also provide insurance coverage to help you fix any potential problems that arise.
Also, monitor your financial account for any change of personal information. Make it a habit to watch your transaction records like a hawk.
TIP: Enable 2-Factor Authentication as an added security.
Use A Firewall, Virus, And Spyware Protection
Keep in mind that active, up-to-date antivirus software can enable you to repel potential threats posed by malicious software and files. This software can help you fend off any malicious attacks that try to steal your data.
So always update your computer’s protections, drivers and browsers to patch security flaws.