Monday, October 15, 2018

5 ways to Protect Yourself from Identity Fraud

by Editor (editor), , December 04, 2016

We shouldn’t neglect to use identity protection services, yet often we delay, often with consequences.

Most people nowadays are accustomed to having unlimited digital access to information 24/7 - 365 days a year. We live our lives both in the real world and in the virtual word simultaneously. Loading onto the world wide web, as much personal information as we need to help our daily activities run smoothly.

But at what cost? Relying on the probability that “everyone does it, so it must be safe” isn’t a viable option. Although most of us are harmlessly going about our business online, reading the latest news, looking up new restaurants nearby our area, using social media to connect or purchasing items from online stores – others are creeping just around the virtual corner, ready to snatch up all of our personal information, that we so readily give away. We shouldn’t neglect to use identity protection services, yet often we delay, often with consequences.

We might keep up on the latest gaming apps, and downloads – but for some of us, we never look into what services are out there to safeguard our personal information, until it’s too late!

Below I will pinpoint 5 easy ways to protect yourself from Identity fraud.

Identity Protection services through apps for your mobile device

As mentioned above, many of us don’t consider protecting our phones until we receive a visible threat. The thing that most of us don’t see is, you might already be a victim of identity fraud. There are hundreds or maybe even thousands of people out there with the skills and knowledge that can be used to take your information illegally, that will in turn sold on the “dark net” to others who will make use of it.

Your smart phone, the very tool you use hundreds of times a day, holds a plethora of your personal information. Your home address, your work address, telephones, ID numbers, social security numbers, birth details, credit cards, car plates. Absolutely anything that you enter into your mobile device, could end up in the hands of a sinister criminal.

There are countless ways in which cyber criminals can take your information from your phone. Hacking into your accounts, fraudulent apps, opening unknown links from unsolicited emails, using unsecured WIFI or Bluetooth. These are all valid ways that fraudsters use to access your private information. The easiest way of course, is if you don’t choose to download an Identity protection service app.

I remember not having an identity protection service app for months on my new mobile device, thinking I wouldn’t need one since, A. I’m not important enough to hack, and B. I thought I would save space on my memory card if I didn’t download one. Well a few weeks ago, I started to receive some very odd looking emails and SMS messages, requesting for me to confirm personal information… Realizing that I put myself in unnecessary danger, I quickly went to the app store and downloaded a free protection app.

Use one protection service for all digital devices

Downloading a free app was just the basic coverage for my phone. The best thing that you can do to keep all of your personal information safe is to purchase anIdentity Protection servicesantivirus/antispyware that will be able to cover all of your digital needs. We usually have 2- 4 devices that we use, smart phones, PC’s, laptops, ipads or tablets etc… Buying one Identity protection service program to cover all of these devices is a good idea.

Be wary of free WIFI and open networks

Not having an internet plan on your mobile device is fair enough if you don’t have the extra money, however… Some cyber criminals choose this smart method to steal your personal data:

Set up an open WIFI connection, people join said connection, people may be asked to sign in through email… Email gets hacked, cyber criminals have your personal information.

Same goes for leaving your Bluetooth open! Limit access to your mobile device until you need to use these services, and always be careful that the WIFI you connect to is a legitimate connection and not bait. Downloadable Identity Protection services will definitely provide you with security while you carry out your day to day activities through your mobile device.

Don’t put all of your eggs into one basket

Keeping all of your personal information on your mobile device or laptop is a bad idea. I once read a simple yet clever piece of advice from an expert: Keep personal information safely out of the digital realm, by simply writing down any needed information (social security, ID, passwords etc) in a booklet and keep it in your draw. Cyber criminals might have skills, but they can’t reach through the screen!

Shopping online without fear

Shopping online has become the norm, there is always some special offer or some unique item that tickles your fancy while browsing online. Identity protection services offer you a safe way to shop, by guarding your personal information and warning you which sites can be potentially hazardous.

Basic common sense applies:

Only shop through reliable stores.

Do they have a physical address? Do they have a telephone to contact them directly? What did the online reviews say about this store?

Only pay through accredited payment methods.

Use known carts and gateways, avoid giving your credit card details through email or forms that go directly to a person, instead of being automatically processed. No one should hold your details, it isn’t necessary to have that risk.

Personal information

. Make sure you read the fine print! Many dubious merchants sell your personal information onwards to spammers, scammers that could eventually find their way to identity thieves. Be careful what you sign up for and just how much personal information you choose to volunteer to unknown sources.

About the Writer

Editor is an editor for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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