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Your identity is your most valuable possession. Protect it.”-Elastigirl, The Incredibles
Our individual Identity is what makes us different from the all the people in the world. Which is why to protect it has become a primary agenda not only for us but also the governments of most of the countries. Many countries spend a hefty sum on Identity Theft protection, however, the issue still persists at a large scale. Once someone’s identity is stolen, attackers use the information for their own profit.
So, how is identity theft done? Who is the victim of it? How do you protect yourself from it? Let’s learn about it all.
What is Identity Theft?
Identity Theft is a fraud and theft committed by illegally obtaining someone’s personal information and stealing their identity. Your general information like name, date of birth, address, tax records and banking information are counted as your personal information.
Once attackers steal your information they will commit fraud and other criminal activities in your name.
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Ways that identity Theft occurs.
Your information is generally stored on your system. Once your system is hacked, attackers steal your data and use it for their own gain by criminal activities.
There are different sites, organizations and social websites on which users store their personal data and when their network is hacked all the personal data goes in the hands of criminals,which they can use for Identity Theft.
Ignorant Use of Social Media
Before using social media, we forget that some friends are not real friends. They use your information for Identity Theft.
Chances of getting your email hacked increases as you do not change the password of your email account with time. And if you are using same password for different websites then attackers will have access to all your accounts.
Once hackers gain access to your email account they access any information that is stored in it. Email accounts are big source of the information for attackers
Your physical documents can also be used for Identity Theft. Documents contain all the information that can be used for performing Identity Theft by criminals.
If your physical documents are not destroyed properly, they can be used by the attackers for their personal gain. Criminals can read your personal information from it and use it for their own personal profit.
Simple answer is “Everyone”. If your data is in hands of attackers they will use it for their personal gain no matter who you are.
Your identity can also be used for performing further Identity Threats.
If your information is in the hands of a criminal, then they can use it for opening a credit card account, they will use it and you will be responsible for paying the debt.
How to Stay Protected
Limit the Use of Social Media
By limiting the use of social media you will minimize the chances of getting attacked as less information will be on your social media.
Use Paid Services
You can pay for the services to lookout for suspicious activity.
Update your Operating System regularly
By updating your OS you make sure that new security patches are installed regularly.
Do not visit malicious sites, do not open unknown attachments and download any file from untrusted sources.
Keep an eye on unknown transactions and contact companies that help users to monitor their transactions.
With digitalization ID theft will remain a serious issue in times to come. So be aware and do not put any of your personal information on internet without checking.
You can use this simple information to stop your identity being stolen.
There have been many instances where users got their identity stolen and had to go to great lengths to prove their innocence.