Hidden threats are everywhere, and of course nowhere, because well, they are hidden!
We spend countless hours of our week in the virtual realm in one form or another. Whether we are working, reading the online news, playing games, accessing our online banking or making purchases, every day we are putting our personal information at risk.
Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft
Protecting against Identity theft can be tricky, but not at all impossible.
The hidden threat
Many of us go about our online business, happily signing up or signing in to our various social media accounts, our emails or online stores. Yet we never fully understand what hidden threats might be lurking as we give little pieces of our personal information away, one piece at a time.
Think about when you purchase something online, you enter your full legal name, your home address and your contact numbers. When you sign in to Gmail or Facebook, you enter your email and passwords. When you are using social media you freely give snippets of your life away with each post. Date of birth, whereabouts, where you went to college, where you work, who you know, nicknames, life events, holiday travels. So much information that just 20 years ago would have remained private, is now available for cyber criminals to steal.
Protecting against identity theft is more than just keeping your bank details safe, it’s about limiting access to your personal life. What harm can these innocuous details do to you? Let’s take a look at an example:
Your mobile device remains unprotected, you are using it daily, signing in to social media, and quite proudly have stored your ID, social security number and other personal details on a secure program that you have downloaded from the app store. A cyber-criminal targets your phone, he attempts to access it through the open network that you are currently using. He successfully enters as there is no security program to block him and warm you of his attempts. With no protection, he’s in.
With his programs and hacks, he manages to retrieve ALL information that you have stored or entered into that device. Everything online such as your passwords, accounts, credit card details, date of birth, home, work, friends, EVERYTHING. He also has access to what you believed to be “offline” maybe you stored your Medicare ID, social security number, a picture of your passport, he now has it all. As he sits in the comfort of his home, he now has enough knowledge and facts on you, to become you.
Identity theft is no joke, you could lose everything you have, be put in debt or even be arrested all because you failed to protect yourself against identity theft.
Protect against Identity theft
Downloading apps that protect your personal information is only the beginning. Identity thieves don’t stop because you have set up precautions. They can even be lurking in the physical world too. You could be casually sitting at your local coffee shop, laptop wide open, sitting back enjoying a chai latte, happily typing away as the person on the sofa behind you is busy keeping track of your passwords and logins.
Protecting yourself from Identity theft begins with keeping your personal information under wraps. Whether you are disposing of old utility bills at home or you are entering personal information online in any form, you must remember that there is always someone willing to take your personal information from you and use it for their own gains.
Keep safe by disposing of documents in the correct manner (using a shredder advised!), by downloading the correct security software on each digital device you are using and always be alert to any prying people when you are logging into your accounts in public. To Protect against identity theft means to guard against a potentially devastating loss.