Digital development today may have simplified life, with everything available at our fingertips. Yet some things will never change. One of them, being identity theft. Yesteryears, we forged signatures on confidential and sensitive documentation. Today, we are forging entire identities to come across as authentic in the cyber world.
What Is Digital Identity Theft?
In the digital age, identity theft is more than acting as an impostor to steal valuable personal information, such as social security numbers or personal financial information. These thieves can also commit fraud under some else’s name, putting an innocent person’s life in misery, danger, and life-long jeopardy. Since identity theft isn’t just an online problem; today we are constantly connected through our smartphones.
Start With a Secure Internet Connection
With most of our data easily accessible via our cellphones, identity theft is one of the biggest security issues that need to be tackled with Machiavellian intellect and resources. Identity theft is more than employing high-end tech; it requires a wily scheming design ‘just to get in. Billions of dollars are lost every year because of this massive security threat. Top internet service providers such as offered by Spectrum customer service that provide fast, reasonable, and highly-safe service without the occasional glitch at ill-opportune times.
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Cyber Criminals Begin Their Tasks With Phishing Emails
Identity theft usually begins with unsolicited spam emails that would usually annoy any innocent. In most scenarios, all it takes is a click on the ad that would provide an entry into the target’s machine, giving access to private and confidential data. While such emails, also known as phishing may look like a sincere message from a credible source, the crooks have just gotten better at their clever tactics, that it’s difficult for the naked eye to recognize which is real and which is not.
Your Environment Could Also Put You at Risk
In other cases, this crime can take root if you are prone to using public or open WiFi networks such as the internet connection at your local library or the café at the corner of the street. Since numerous users are logged in the same public system, the crooks have far more success to break into an innocent’s data.
Disappearing Into Thin Air Is Not an Option
Though official stats reveal that identity theft and cybercrime have increased over the years; with the pandemic still looming over us, going offline and disappearing into the woods is simply not an option, nor is it viably possible anymore. So what does the normal person, an ordinary taxpayer do, in times when everything has become digital and life has gone online?
Get Creative With Methods of Precaution
You can simply begin by being creative in your methods to avoid getting scammed by these criminals who look for chances to put you in a vulnerable state. If you are always online on social media, Instagramming every move, saving each moment on snap chat, or simply tagging besties on Facebook at the latest club in town, we suggest that you use a password that is unique and complex at the same time. It should be a good mix of alphabets, numbers, and symbols.
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Put an Extra Layer on Your Security Blanket
To give an extra layer of safety to your online identity, add multi-factor authentication, which normally includes answers to personal questions, text message for a pin, or scans, to ensure that’s you and not some impostor, whose using your social media account.
Upgrade the Versions of Your Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware Softwares
While basic security measures for your laptop such as installing the latest version of anti-malware with antivirus necessary for protecting your devices, your smartphone needs similar protection. Regularly running security upgrades on your cell phone and staying away from websites that are considered dangerous will keep security threats at bay. Today most internet service providers such as Earthlink internet also include security protection against malicious intrusions for optimum digital safety.
Using Virtual Private Network (VPN) When Browsing the Internet
Another way for protecting your online identity is by using a Virtual Private Network or VPN when using the internet. While an antivirus may protect the data on your smartphone or laptop, VPN protects the data as it travels through the Labyrinth, which is the internet. Furthermore, using a trustworthy VPN for your benefit will also protect your personal or office IP address, thereby hiding your actual physical location from fraudsters who can use it for devious crimes.
Staying Vigilant With Your Private Information
While online security measures can help the average internet user combat simple risks, the old ways of writing your passwords in a safe and secure lock-proof diary, getting paper bills, carrying important cards wherever you go might also allow crooks to put your identity at risk. That’s why always be careful and vigilant with all your mail and cards, especially if you are a regular user of public transport, such as the metro. Utilize online billing and mobile apps to your benefit.
Follow the above-mentioned tips and your life will not be toppled by any hack! These are some practical guidelines that you need to employ in your digital habits to ensure a secure cyber presence.
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