Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Protecting Against Identity Theft

Here are some figures to ponder over -- In the US alone, 2012 saw over 12.6 million people fall victim to identity theft. This translates to roughly a victim every three seconds. From the finance point, almost $21 billion was lost as a result of such theft. Close to 1 in every 4 customers had their identities hacked into because they responded to a fraudulent data breach letter.

With every passing day, cyber criminals are getting smarter in the way they go about their work, and they are able to scale most safety protocols put in place. Individuals 50 and older may be use to simpler times, but with a large number of senior citizens now turning to the Net for their banking and finance requirements, it is important for them to understand how to protect themselves.

Here are a few simple ways for individuals older than 50, and anyone else, to avoid being scammed and hacked and to keep their identity details safe from cyber criminals.

The core of your identity is your social security number, and it is the simplest piece of information with which a cybercriminal can create a whole new identity for themselves. Never carry your number on your person or in your wallet. Ideally, have it memorized and use it only when absolutely required in public places.

Pins are an essential part of every banking instrument. You have one for your credit card, debit card, any banking related privilege cards and more. Many people who are prone to forgetting their PINs tend to write them down on a piece of paper and keep it in their wallet or save it on their mobile phone. Losing both of these can mean that your PINs are out for all to see. When keying in your PINs, always place a palm over the keypad.

One way identity theft occurs is when people actually take the trouble of going through your garbage or stealing your mail. Having a secure place for disposal and ensuring that any document with your account number or other private details is thoroughly shredded before being thrown away is important.

Make it a habit to scrutinize all bills and statements, especially those related to online transactions, to make sure private information is not left for prying eyes.

By default, no authorized bank or official representative will ask for your password or secret personal details. Any phishing mails received soliciting the same should be reported as spam.

Keep personal details safe by storing them in secure places. Never leave important documentation around and always make sure to completely shred and dispose of anything with such information that you no longer need.

Hacking sites is a common affair these days. Hackers are able to recreate, quite closely, bank sites and have found means of directing traffic there. Always make sure that you have a secure Internet connection before you log on to websites. Securing your Wi-Fi network will ensure no one can access it and see your history. All URLs or website addresses should be accurate; this means that they will have to start with http:///www.bankname.com

Many times, people receive strange looking mails from folks who may be familiar to them asking for monetary help from distant countries. These are phishing mails, and they mean that your friends' IDs have been hacked and used for such dubious messaging.

It is important to invest in a quality malware and anti-virus system for your computer. These are constantly updated to deal with newer threats in the cyber world and are a must on every system.

Choose passwords that will sound convoluted to others but make perfect sense to you. At the end of the financial year, have your credit rating evaluated and check for any finance loopholes. These are some of the ways in which consumers of all ages can protect themselves from identity theft.

Author Bio
Joshua Turner is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to business. In this article, he offers advice against identity theft and aims to encourage further study through a Norwich Online Masters in Information Assurance. 

1 comment:

  1. That is a great post and thanks for sharing. We should follow identity protection system to save ours and our things. Also on the internet hackers can hack your bank account, credit cards, insurance etc. But you have to take proper step to save these. This post is very helpful for me and others who want to save him/her asset. Thank you.


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