You are having a great time with your friends, when suddenly you receive a text saying “Your account has been debited with $XXXXX”, you have not even recuperated from the shock from the first text when you receive another similar text. You are flabbergasted since you had nothing to do with the transaction. It is quite a common scenario. Online identity theft is something that has robbed several people of money and livelihood. Some have even gotten into legal issues as well. So, the question is how can you protect yourself from identity theft?
What Is Online Identity Theft And Why Should You Be Careful?
As the name suggests, online identity theft is a situation when someone steals your personal information available online. It could be your name, phone number, address, SSN number, debit/ credit card details, loan number, TIN number, or any other personal information.
If a hacker has hands-on such information he can use it to file tax refunds, open new bank accounts, make exorbitant purchases, and whatnot.
In this blog, we’ll look at ways you can combat online identity theft.
Ways To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft?
|Table Of Contents|
|1. Avoid Using Social media Profiles To Sign Into Websites|
1. Avoid Using Social media Profiles To Sign Into Websites
Here’s a simple tip to protect yourself from identity theft – avoid logging into websites using your social media ID and password.
It might be convenient for you to sign-in a website using your Gmail or Facebook ID and password. But, this could easily expose your personal information associated with these accounts. So, instead of using your Gmail, Facebook, or any other social media account, you should sign up using an email address.
2. Use A Dedicated Identity Protector
Despite trying a lot, you might still not be able to completely wipe off the personal data stored on your browser. And, trust us on this one – even a minute personal information about you is a low hanging fruit for a hacker. Here’s a wonderful way to clean your browser of any such information. You can use an online security tool such as Advanced PC Cleanup for identity protection while using the internet.
Advanced PC Cleanup keeps a track of all the information stored on your browser, the various passwords. Once, you click the scan button, Advanced PC Cleanup would search for all such identity traces and then prompt you to clean them.
Click Here to Install Advanced PC Cleanup
3. Use A Strong Password
To protect your identity online, use a strong password. A strong password is ideally a combination of numbers, lowercase and uppercase letters, and special characters. It should also be long enough so that it becomes hard to crack.
It is also advisable to use a different password for every site you log in. Though, this together might be a tough task. To make things easier for you there are some great password managers out there that take the cumbersome task of remembering passwords.
4. Look For Stringent Encryption Protocols Used On A Website
There are many online miscreants who might forge a banking website and compel you to enter your credit or debit card information. Here is a neat trick you can use to distinguish a fake website from the one that is genuine.
Also read: how to remove credit card from Google Play
Much before punching in your debit/ credit card details, account number, password, or any other such crucial details, check if the website starts with “https://” if it does, next, check a lock icon at the left-hand side near to the refresh icon. If you find these two signs, it means that the website is safe.
5. Refrain From Over Sharing Information On Social Media
One of the best tips shared by the Federal Trade Commission to protect identity online is to refrain from sharing excessive personal information on social media platforms. If a hacker has excess to your personal and financial information, he or she can easily hack into your accounts.
Here are the types of personal details you should never share on social media – full name, bank account numbers, Social Security Numbers, debit/ credit card details, address, and phone number.
6. Don’t Click On Links From Senders You Don’t Trust
Suspicious mails infamously known as phishing emails are the ones that are sent in the form of links, files or images with the motive to expose your computer to viruses or some or the other kind of malicious ransomware.
Never ever click on such links or images especially if the email compels you to enter your personal details or password.
Also read: Best Antivirus For Windows 10
7. Lock Your Wi-Fi Router With A Password
Unless and until your router is protected by a strong password anyone in that range can access your internet. Things can become worse if you have a hacker in that range. To further intensify your router’s protection, you should also enable stringent encryption protocols that have the capability to scramble any data you send or receive.
Stay Alert, Stay Safe!
In the end, we’d just like to reinstate that you should by all means make an effort to not let any of your personal information get into the hands of a hacker. And, while we have enlisted some of the most effective ways, nothing can compare to your own presence of mind and alertness. If the blog has been of help, do give it a thumbs up and share it with everyone you care for.