Identity theft as a threat has grown to dangerous heights. The number of identity theft attacks is increasing with every passing year. User data is stolen whenever data breach attacks are successful, which is quite frequent in today’s world.
From taking control over someone’s social media profile to stealing their bank credentials and information to make fraudulent transactions, identity theft attacks have differing severity, but all are harmful to the victim. Therefore, we will talk about some ways in which you can protect yourself from identity theft.
How to protect from Identity Theft
- Use latest Antivirus/Anti-Malware
Identity theft attacks cannot be prevented just by securing your browsing and online activity. You need to make sure that there are no malware on your system which might be sharing your personal information with the attacker without your knowledge. Using latest antivirus software protects you against that, for it will detect and stamp out any resident malware from your system. Keeping the software up to date is essential.
- Strong passwords
Passwords are the only line of defense that keeps malicious users out from your personal accounts. Therefore, you need to choose strong passwords that are difficult to crack to keep your personal accounts secure. Use alpha-numeric passwords and two-factor authentication wherever possible.
- Use a VPN
Virtual Private Networks connect you to the internet through an encrypted tunnel. All the traffic passing between the internet and your system is encrypted, making it difficult for anyone to steal the sensitive information you share over the internet. Data snoopers find it difficult to decrypt information shared over a VPN, so you should use them.
- Make sure you shop at Secure Sites
Online transactions make for a huge part of people’s internet usage in today’s world. However, you need to be sure that the website you are sharing your account details with is an authentic one and which shares your sensitive information in a secure manner. For this, always look for an ‘https’ URL when sharing personal information like bank details or passwords. The ‘s’ means that the website uses a secure protocol to share your details.
- Cover/disconnect Webcam
This is something that people are not aware of. Common webcams that people use in their households are very easy to take control of. They can be used by malicious users to spy on the victim and know what they are doing. Many times the light of your webcam won’t even turn on when the malicious user is spying on you. Therefore, only connect a webcam when you are using it. In case it is a laptop, it is a good practice to keep it covered when it is not in use.
Identity theft attacks are increasing with each passing year. The previous year saw attacks like the Ashley Madison attack as well as the Walmart data breach where personal information of millions of people over the world was stolen. This year, too, has seen its fair share of identity theft attacks already, with a fair portion remaining. It all comes down to you, as the user, to protect your identity. Using the above-mentioned methods, you can protect yourself.