10 Best Ways To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft
Identity theft is any duplicity, trick, or wrong doing that outcomes in the loss of individual information, including the loss of client names, passwords, keeping the credit card statements, Visa numbers, Social Security Numbers and are utilized without your authorization to carry out blackmail and different violations.
Identity theft is a serious issue. Many people can easily resolve this issue and re-establish their identity. For others, it can be challenging to solve this problem. It can cost a lot, might take months just to fix this issue to restore their identity. It can seriously harm their reputation in the society . People might get fired from their jobs and might not be able to fill in any loan application for education, home or car. There have been cases where innocent people were arrested for crimes that weren’t even committed by them but by someone else who used their identities and had to prove that they were not guilty.
There are several ways to make yourself secure from identity theft online, but the most important ways are mentioned below.
10 important ways to protect yourself from identity theft
1. Identify phishing scams and spam
Nowadays, phishing scams are common in email, on social networking sites or any websites but they look very legitimate. One should learn to spot spam and scams and never fall for them. They are very engaging to gain user attention but never click on a link that has been sent to you. There are lottery scams and banking emails saying that it’s from your bank with all the right logos and know your name, but there are chances of you getting scammed easily.
If you ever want any info about any topic then don’t visit and enter your credentials using the link provided in your e-mail when you’re not sure about its authenticity. Always visit the official website using the search engine as I use Google.
2. Using strong passwords
Identity hackers like weak passwords as it gets very easier for them to gain access to the victim’s data especially if you’re using the same password for all you account just because it gets hard for you to remember all the different passwords. Once the hacker knows the password that you’re using, they can just log into your social accounts, financial accounts, and can cause a severe blow to your character and reputation.
The Golden rule is to use strong passwords that are long enough ( more than 10 characters) that will make it harder to crack. Never use your info in the passwords like your age, name, birthday. If possible then use randomly generated passwords as they are much stronger and hard to break through and use different passwords for all your accounts. Well in real life it is a tough job to remember all the different passwords as an average person have many accounts. To make it possible and easier we suggest you to use a password manager to generate passwords and it will store the password too.
Don’t forget to protect your password manager by using two-factor authentication.
Some of the password managers are Zoho Vault, Sticky Password Premium, Dashlane 4, LastPass 4.0 Premium, LogMeOnce Password Management Suite Ultimate 5.2.
3. Using two-factor authentication for your accounts
The strongest usernames and passwords are sometimes compromised and a hacker can gain access to your account. To get one more layer of security, always enable two-factor authentication and make sure that there is an another form of authentication required to access your account.
4. Look for HTTPS on any website you visit in the URL bar
Now, what https is ? it indicates that the website or webpage you’re on is secure and can be trusted. It is fine with HTTP When you’re on a webpage just to read any article but You should never enter any sensitive information like card details on a website without SSL certificate or without https enabled.
5. Always stay up-to-date!
Many software available online that have built-in security optimizations to help detect and not letting intruders gain access to your private data.
Always make sure that you have installed the latest and efficient security technology and always update:
- Computer and mobile phone operating software
- mobile phone apps
- web browsers
- Not installing unwanted potentially harmful applications
6. Think before using a public Wi-Fi
It’s fun when you find a public Wi-Fi, but we can’t call public wi-fi a secure network, hackers gain a big advantage at stealing sensitive information by sniffing or setting up a malicious attack.
If you ever find or use a public wifi then always stick to the websites that don’t require your sensitive information for example bank details or anything of the same type.
7. Using VPNs on public Wi-Fi
when it’s possible just avoid using public wifi but when it’s very significant, then you can add a layer of security by using a VPN solution on your laptop or mobile.
A VPN will simply make it hard for any third party app to determine your location or identity.
8. Check the plugins and add-ons connected to your email inbox & web browser
Web-browsers and email platforms provide a wide variety of plugins and add ons for making tasks easier, but there can be malicious third party services and apps that can be installed while surfing the internet and can access your account.
If you ever identify any application that you haven’t authorized then remove it as soon as possible.
9. Using web browser extensions
whether it’s Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or any other modern web browser, you will get a list of many useful extensions that will help you stay secure online without worrying about your identity or location.
Few recommended extensions :
- Adblock plus: This extension gives a great relief from unwanted ads and pop-ups, banner ads, rollover ads.
- privacy badger: This extension keeps your browsing history safe from third-parties by preventing cookies and tracking.
Few more are Https Everywhere, Panopticlick, etc. you can read more about them on their websites to understand much better and get all the info about other extensions.
10. Stay alert to avoid identity theft
Most of the relevant and important steps are already covered in this article. Using these actions will reduce the risk of getting your identity stolen. If you ever notice that you’re being targeted then start changing all your passwords and ensure that you have all the security measures working for you.