A checklist by ID Theft Authority, last updated March 26, 2016.
There are many ways online scammers are deceiving people which has been resulting in massive amounts of personal data getting stolen, including usernames, passwords, banking information, credit card numbers, Social Security Numbers and health ID’s. They are often used to commit fraud or other crimes, and there’s no stopping the lengths fraudsters are willing to go to get your personal data.
Identity theft isn’t new, it’s just evolved and change with technology. Read more about the subject here: http://www.idtheftauthority.com/types/online/.
Here are 7 steps to protect yourself from online identity theft:
Protect your smartphone and computer using strong, up-to-date security software. If your phone gets infected with malicious software, most other safeguards will be of little help to you because the criminals already got the key to all of your online actions. Always keep your devices and computers up to date.
Learn how to spot spam and scams. Many phishing schemes are easy to identify while many of them are not. A lot of the scams in email, IM, on social networking sites, or websites can look quite legitimate. One of the best ways to not fall for scams is by not clicking on any links or opening any emails that just don’t look right. The biggest scams are bank scams. Customers receive strange emails from their bank asking them to update their banking details which is something their bank would never do. Whatever companies you have services with, check with them for current scams, they will definitely help you identify them.
Use strong passwords. Identity thieves love weak passwords, and it’s a huge bonus if you use the same passwords everywhere. Once a thief figures out your password, they can access all of your accounts.
Monitor your credit score. There are three credit reporting agencies, Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. All three credit bureaus work together through a website called AnnualCreditReport.com. Contact each agency to find out how to request all three reports at once.
Consistently review your credit score. Check your credit reports regularly to see if any new cards, loans, or lines of credit have been opened that you don’t know about.
Freeze your credit. You can stop criminals from getting your personal data and financial info by locking (often called freezing) your credit so that no new credit can be given out without certain information and controls.
Use reputable websites when purchasing items or services online. If you’re unsure of a company or their website, do your research first. See how they are reviewed by other site users and checking if they have a strong rating with Better Business Bureau.
To learn more about different types of identity theft and how you can protect yourself, please visit http://www.idtheftauthority.com/types/online/.
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