Do you do most of your transactions using your credit card? Or, are you active on social media? Then, you are a potential identity theft victim. Because most online scams succeed when the perpetrator disguises as a credible person.
In turn, you can lose money, your reputation, and develop stress-related ailments. Then, how can you prevent leakage of your personal information without your consent? Here are some five preventive tips: –
Secure Your Devices
Is your tablet, laptop, or smartphone secure for identity theft? If not, then install a firewall to protect all the software on your devices.
Next, download content from reputable websites only. Third, never be in a hurry to jailbreak your phone or tablet.
It creates an opportunity for unauthorized software to access your personal information. Do you have a lock on your sim card? What about a kill switch? These two options shut down your devices when not in use or lost.
Monitor Your Bank Statements
If you do most of your purchases online, using your credit card, then keep tabs on your bank statement.
This way, you’ll spot any suspicious transactions and stop them before you lose lots of cash.
It doesn’t matter whether it is a $5 or a $500 purchase; report it to the bank’s fraud section so that they can follow it up. Or, seek services of an identity theft protection like those by Home Security Heroes who will investigate it further.
Verify Websites Before Sharing Your Personal Information
For all your online purchases, always check that you input your personal information on secure websites. That is, verify the site’s URL to confirm that it is encrypted.
Also, be observant of the way the address bar changes color once you enter a particular web address.
To be safe, opt for popular search engines like Google and Mozilla. They always alert you if a website is secure or not before accessing it.
Opt For a Fraud Alert On Your Credit Report
Fraud alerts work twofold. First, it forces the third party to confirm your identity before engaging in a transaction using your details.
That way, you’ll get an alert any time someone is trying to open an account or take a loan in your name. Second, you’ll have access to a free credit report. Hence, you can always check and report any suspect activities.
Beware of Phishing Scams
A phishing scam is often in the form of spam emails or instant messages. They are from shady websites trying to ‘phish’ your details, including credit card and bank account numbers.
That is, they direct you to enter personal information into the sites. Only that, they mimic legitimate sites to steal your data.
To protect yourself from phishing scams, ignore any unsolicited requests for personal information. Does the site look suspect? Then, countercheck the company’s contact. Do this via phone or email.
As more persons spend time online, cases of identity theft keep on increasing. Whether it is a child identity theft or a synthetic identity theft, do not be a victim. Learn and share ways you can protect yourself from these scammers. Stay cautious.