What does actual identity theft mean? And what should be the 10 ways to prevent identity theft? It’s when scammers illegally pose as you, to generate redundant money. Identity theft comprises different scenarios and factors, mail identity theft, biometric, medical, synthetic identity theft. Getting your personal information leaked and exploited by any of the above factors falls under identity theft.
Today we’ll discuss preventive measures to safeguard your personal information by any means and below here are 10 ways to prevent identity theft.
What actually identity theft is?
Breach into your personal identity data ie name, credit info, Social Security number, and other private credentials. Identity theft breaches are common acts for financial reasons. One can drain your whole financial repository if they have access to your personal data.
The common possibilities of damage by identity breach can be- loss of financial repository, irredundant credit lines on your name, tax refund theft, access to your medical finances, and attain other utility services.
Identity theft has been a growing issue in the IoT environment. A study reported by Javelin Strategy & Research confronts that about 1 in 20 people nationwide were breached or victims of identity theft in 2019. The total loss repository rose up to a total of $16.9 billion which is up by 13% from the last year.
Scammers worldwide took leverage from this global pandemic as the theft toll rose amid the Covid-19 crisis.
Here’s a listicle of preventive measures that can readily reduce or exploit the risk of identity and data breach.
10 ways to prevent Identity theft:
Currently, there’s no fail-safe tip for preventing identity theft, services that track and monitor your financial activities can only inform you after the breach happened. So these preventive measures actually restrain the risk of your identity breach.
1. Do not share your Social Security Number
As we are well aware of the fact that the security pin is the master key to your financial repository. Guard your SSN at the utmost priority.
Avoid sharing your security pin with the third party websites online. Keep an eye that either the site is secured or not. When asked specifically for the password, intrigued why you need it and how it’s getting secured.
#Don’t carry those security credentials with you unless necessary. Either shred or safeguard paperwork that contains your private security key.
2. Setting up Fraud Alerts
Fraud Alerts on credit reports substantially comprises setting up a user identification process to confirm whether it’s you or some hacker breaching into your financial repository.
Fraud alerts act as a red-flag in your credit life, without hindering your credit score sure it often takes longer to release your credit application.
The fraud alert stays on your credit history for 90 days to 7years rely on the type of alert you chose. One can easily file a fraud alert on your credit report absolutely free of cost.
# Filing a fraud alert offers you a free copy of the credit report. It’s beneficial that you can look out for suspicious activities while reviewing credit history.
3. Seal Pre-approved Credit Card Offers
Organizations offering you the pre-approved credit cards don’t affect your credit score however falling into a trap sure does.
The hackers’ communities worldwide use these types of fake ads to reach out to their targets. These Pre-approved card offers ask for your personal data to be shared with them that ultimately enables scammers to get credit cards on your identity.
#Be aware of these fake offers by either opting out to block them for an instance or permanently.
4. Be aware of phishing and spoofing
You’ve often heard of getting people scammed for money over irredundant fake phone calls. Turns out it appears to be from their respective banks, authorities, or even government entities.
Scammers act as these employees to scam people and look out for their personal banking details.
Be aware to cross-check every call and email before handing over any sensitive financial information to the receiver end.
#Initiate a call-back to verify, look out for credible sources. Most often the attachments in these emails contain bloatware that might steal your personal banking data.
5. Security Freeze on Credit Report
Security- freeze unlike the fraud alert is free to use and implement instead of the fact it doesn’t expire as fraud alerts do. It basically offers you to acquire an authorized PIN or password into your financial repository.
If anyone somehow breached into your bank repository so to take credit over any business that the user needs to enter the security pin to make the purchase.
#Make sure it’s only or a trustworthy person knows your security pin.
6. Monitor Credit Reports regularly
Enabling net banking with your respective bank, it helps to keep track of all the activities of your credit life. This offers you to cross-check every transaction you made.
Login to your net-banking periodically to keep an eye for any unauthorized charges made to your account. Most of the banks and credit businesses offer their users to opt for fraud alerts whenever any suspicious activity takes place. It enables you to block your credits before any huge damage is done.
# Keep your net-banking credentials only up to you. Either shred to safeguard the documents that have your login information.
7. Opt. for a secured digital wallet
Making purchases using your credit cards online over unauthorized sites can lead to identity theft as they’re easy to manipulate by hackers to steal credentials.
Always make payments through a secured authorized digital wallet. It reduces the risks of the data breach.
Either way, digital contactless payment is way more convenient than traditional payment methods like card swipe.
# Amid the Covid-19 pandemic it’s very helpful as it depletes the chances of spreading the virus.
8. Use strong authentication passkeys
Make sure your password is complex and is not easy to guess. Do not put on basic passwords that can be easily interpreted.
And you can use a credible password manager to store all your complex account passwords.
Security questions aren’t credible security to your credit accounts. Think carefully about your media appearance, I mean it won’t be tough to know your maiden name or name of your pet.
# Use a good mixture of a combination of alphabets, symbols, and numbers which only you can relate to.
9. Secure your digital devices
The digital- devices are by far the most important things of our lives and are also the reason why the hacker’s community raised $16.9 billion last year. Javelin’s report stated that 48% of the scam cases were through the mobile platform.
Instead of making payments to third-party websites that involve breach risks. Use a banking app or any credible bill-payment platform.
#Make sure your SSN is up to you and your device is password protected.
10. Ensure self cheque deliveries
Stolen cheques are another reason for identity theft. Scammers use these stolen cheques to manipulate new copies with your credentials and signatures over it.
These cheques can easily be used to make any purchase without you even knowing it.
Whenever you order for new cheques rather than it being home-delivered by mail, you should consider for self-pickup from the bank itself.
# Report back to respective authorities if there’s any scenario of stolen cheques.
In the era of modernization, from local vendors to enterprise solutions all industries opted for modern ways and techniques. It is estimated that 98% of its smartphone users hit google for anything they need.
But one thing they don’t know is that implementing your personal data over third-party hosts can enhance the risk of data exploitation. So the factors involved above comprise the best suited 10 ways to prevent identity theft.