How to Avoid Identity Theft
Identity theft is a form of cyber crime whereby a user may be tricked or lured into entering personal info such as user name and password of his/her account which are then used to obtain more info about the user or a person is tricked into giving out financial details such as banking info, credit/debit card info, SSN details etc and then the information is used by cyber swindlers to commit crimes or fraud on pretext that these criminals are the legit holders of the financial or personal details used in the crimes.
These cyber criminals may make a victim of the identity theft to suffer losses both financial and emotional as a person tries to recover from losses and implications of the criminals’ activities such as bad credit in case credit card info is stolen and used up till the card is maxed up.
There are several ways to counter identity theft and they include:
Being vigilant when using the internet.
You should exercise caution when dealing with any online activities especially where personal or financial details are requested. You should try to determine if the request is genuine and what benefits you are really after before entering such information.
You should be also smart at detecting scams as well and spam messages or emails. This means that you will not simply reply to messages or emails which require that you enter or validate you info. One way to do this is by calling the concerned company if you have any interest with them instead of replying to an email sent to you by cyber con men but looks genuine to you; you should enter their web address into your browser if you know it and log in from there.
Configure adequate protection to your PC.
This means that you need anti-viruses, anti-spam ware and other security software which are genuine, strong and they should always be up-to-date and configured to block any site or program that they deem suspicious of malice as well as protect unwanted programs from accessing your computer.
Configure strong access password to your accounts.
Any account that you operate online and has got personal or financial info that you feel should be confidential and never compromised at any time should be protected by strong password which combine a variation of both letter (uppercase and lowercase), numbers and special character. Thus an attempt to hack the account becomes minimal.
Avoid using unsecured Wi-Fi when transmitting pertinent info.
Most cyber criminals are computer savvy and can easily tap and infringe unsecured Wi-Fi internet and when submitting confidential info using such a medium then it can easily be intercepted by these criminals.
Use secure websites.
Avoid sharing info on social media and other online platform.
Its better you call the concerned parties and give them the info instead of sharing it on social media or other sites where the info could be easily intercepted by a malicious person.
Keeps tabs of your banking and credit card info.
In case of anomalies in the banking details, you must immediately seek answers for the anomalies and in case of identity theft try working with the concerned parties to ensure that a solution is found aptly.
Shop online with companies which are reputed.
If you feel that you have doubts about a company, no matter how good the products or services they are selling appeal to you, do not enter your credit card details before doing due diligence.