Do you know you can be a victim of identity theft even if you don’t use a computer or Smartphone? How? Let me Explain How You Can Prevent Identity Theft.
Hackers have adapted ingenious methods to extract information from various sources. This is done by stealing your phone number, pictures from your friend’s cell phone, your financial information from places you’ve visited and much more.
Since the internet is a platform where you can easily obtain information of an individual, internet users are at constant threat of having their identity being compromised.
“Identity theft is a serious crime that affects millions of Americans each year.”
– Ben Bernanke
How the Victims of Identity Theft are Chosen?
Identity theft prevention works best only when you know what identity theft is and how the whole con works. Since hackers have adapted the use of smart, technologically advanced instruments, it only takes them a little time to extract information. Since a lot of our information is available on our social accounts, it doesn’t take long for a hacker to form the connection between our demographics, age, gender, interests amongst various other intricate details. Once a hacker has all the information they need, you will likely become a victim of identity theft.
How to Prevent Identity Theft?
Sadly, identity theft cannot be eliminated. However, you can certainly minimize the risks by learning how to prevent identity theft.
Do business with ‘Trusted Companies’
Before handing your valuable information to any website, make sure that you are giving it to a reputable and trusted company. Hackers have made fake websites that seem legitimate and dupe the user into giving in their information. You should always check for the legitimacy of the website and be on your toes, at all times.
Take advantage of ‘Security Features’
One of the best ways to prevent identity theft is to stay cautious. Precaution indeed is better than prevention. It’s highly recommended that you use security features like VPN and firewalls to protect your data. VPNs encrypt your data and create a secure tunnel through which data is transmitted safely, securing your online security.
According to the cybersecurity expert and whistleblower, Edward Snowden, a VPN is the best tool for individual internet users to safeguard their privacy against identity theft and hacking.
“If we don’t act now to safeguard our privacy, we could all become victims of identity theft.”
– Bill Nelson
Always check ‘Privacy Policies’
Always be cautious on what information you are ‘Publicizing’
Hackers are smart and sharp at connecting the dots. They have the ability to gather pieces of information from various forums and join them to form a better picture of who you are. This helps them to carry out an effective attack on you. Be cautious when posting personal details online.
You want to learn how to protect yourself from identity theft? Start it by staying cautious of what you share online.
Check all your online accounts ‘Daily’
When it comes to financial information, you must pay extra attention and regulate your online accounts at least weekly, if not daily. Review your transactions, current balance and login history. This is the best way to prevent theft of your financial data.
How to identify if your identity has been stolen?
At times, it’s rather too late to identify if your identity has been compromised and hence prevent identity theft. While you cannot turn back the clock, there are some indications that will notify you if someone has accessed your financial information, so that you can take appropriate action. These indications are:
- Unusual records of phone calls, credit bills, purchase of products and services that you don’t know about.
- Not receiving regular bills and statements.
- New, strange accounts appearing on your credit report.
- Unexpected denial of your credit card.
Now, the most important question is:
What Should You Do If Your Identity Is Stolen?
Getting your identity back is a long, stressful and potentially costly process. If your identity is stolen, follow these steps:
Contact the Company or Bank where you have your ‘Account’
Immediately contact your bank where you have your account and inform then regarding how somehow else might be using your identity and that no further transaction should be allowed. Also, send them an email or write to them so that you have it on record.
Immediately report to ‘Government Authoritative Bodies’
Contact the local police department and file a report, as soon as possible. Also, contact the Federal Trade Commission to take necessary action. This way maybe you can help the government catch the perpetrators and recover your financials.
Consider securing other information that may be at ‘Risk’
Many people keep the same passwords for more than the account. While it is convenient, it can also be very dangerous as one password will unlock all your accounts. So, always keep different passwords for different accounts and keep on changing them frequently.
Plus, depending on what information has been compromised, contact the related agencies. For example, if your Social Security Number has been stolen, contact the Social Security Administration. You should also contact the Department of Motor Vehicles if your driver’s license or car registration has been stolen. You get the point, don’t you?
Be Safe Now!
The internet has made it convenient for users to gain rapid access to information. The same way, the internet has made it easier for hackers to steal your personal and financial information. Identity theft is a serious crime and must be dealt with due to force.
We hope that this article has answered most of your questions related to how to prevent identity theft. To help you further with the task of preventing identity theft, here are important links where you can file a complaint and get more information to recover your identity.
– Federal Trade Commission –
– United States Department of Justice –
– Social Security Administration –