Identity theft complaints increased to 113% as experts report over 4.4 million identity theft and fraud cases just last year. From cybercriminals committing crimes using your identity to fraudsters gaining direct access to your bank account or credit cards, getting your identity stolen by cybercriminals can lead to severe social and real-life consequences. Luckily, all hope is not lost. In this article, we will cover the top 7 ways that can help you prevent identity theft.
What is a stolen identity or Identity Theft?
Identity theft is when someone uses your personal or financial information without your permission. They might steal your personal or financial information such as your name and address, credit card, or bank account numbers, Social Security number, or medical insurance account numbers, social media accounts credentials, your National ID card, and so on.
Despite the rapidly increasing rate of cybersecurity threats, there are many effective ways to protect yourself from threats such as identity theft. To help you get started, here are the top 7 ways to protect yourself from identity theft.
It is important to correctly dispose of the documents containing your personal information. It is recommended that you invest in a home document shredder. Shredding your documents such as credit cards statements, solicitations, and other documents that contain private financial information is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of identity theft.
Online identity theft is common, however, cybercriminals also roam around the streets in search of critical information. This includes cybercriminals physically stealing credit cards and other critical documents from your home mailboxes. Therefore, always remember to quickly empty or lock your mailbox. Furthermore, it is always safe to send your bills, documents, and checks from official post offices or other secure locations.
Leaving your financial paper trail can allow fraudsters to extract key information that they can misuse for malicious purposes. Skilled adversaries have nifty ways of misusing your ATM, credit card, or even gas station receipts. It is important to never leave any receipts behind that may contain your information.
Ever heard of credit card skimming? Fraudsters have devised clever ways to steal credit card information from unsuspecting people. Credit card frauds are on the rise and it is critical that you never trust anyone with your personal credit card. Always keep your credit card close to you and watch out for malicious devices attached to ATMs before you use an ATM.
There are always important documents that cannot be shredded or disposed of. However, it also necessarily does not mean that you need such documents in your hands all the time. Investing in a fireproof home safe or lockbox is one of the best ways to protect your vital documents like birth certificates, tax returns, social security cards, etc. even in cases of disasters such as fire. Furthermore, it is also a best practice to scan your documents and save them digitally using encryption software.
Passwords act as gateways to your personal information. From your social media accounts and your digital devices to your banking applications and credit card pin codes, passwords play an important role in making your social and real-life secure. However, what happens when you unknowingly create weak passwords or give away your passwords to hackers in malicious online scams? In addition to identity theft, the consequences of compromised passwords can be endless. Therefore, learn the best password creation and management techniques to ensure maximum online security.
You may have multiple IoT devices around the house that inevitably can have a lot of personal information and data stored in them. IoT security becomes more important when you have children using digital devices. Cybercriminals actively target unsecured digital devices to extract critical information that they can misuse for malicious purposes such as blackmailing and Ransome. Therefore, always ensure that all of your home and personal devices are secured properly. Also teaching your children essential cybersecurity practices can help them develop a security mindset that can keep them safe from emerging cybersecurity threats.
Are you a victim of identity theft or a phishing scam? NGN International can help! Our cybersecurity specialists equipped with a breadth of industry knowledge can help you or your business recover from a security incident while providing you with customized security solutions that will safeguard you and your business against current and future threats. To get started, visit our Security Operations Center (SOC) for more information and to book a free consultation.