The Internet has changed the way people communicate and access information forever. The way people connect with distant relatives and friends for example, will never be the same. In one click of a button, we can connect to different people regardless of geographic boundaries. The way we do business and transact professionally has drastically evolved as well. People nowadays can avail goods and services and pay merchants electronically.
Because of this, disconnecting from the network can seem like a nonnegotiable thing. For most of us, it may seem like disconnecting from the rest of the world. However, as we become more attached to the World Wide Web, we have become more exposed to data security threats like identity theft. In a time, when the Internet has become an essential tool for most of our tasks, how can we prevent a threat like this from victimizing us? The following will discuss in details what the signs of identity theft are, and how people can practice id theft protection properly.
Protecting Yourself From Identity Theft
Before learning the basics in preventing identity theft, it is crucial to understand first what is identity theft. Identity happens when someone steals other people’s personal information such as credit card account information and social security number. The thief will present him/herself as the victim and use the stolen information for fraudulent purposes.
Considering the still flawed information security systems of the Internet today, you may easily become a victim of these culprits if you’re not careful enough. Thieves nowadays can use advanced tactics to get to you like, computer viruses, phishing attacks, specialized skimming devices and misleading advertisements. Thus, being vigilant and watchful of these signs of identity theft will always provide you with a first line of defense toward id theft prevention. Aside from this, the following are other practical ways on how you can protect yourself from identity theft:
Get a back-up hard drive for your files – It is not safe to store all your files in one location only. Once a virus attacks your system, everything in your main storage will get infected. You become highly susceptible to fraudulent attacks when this happens.
Always back-up your file no matter where you keep them – Regardless if you think your email storage is safer, it is always better to keep a back-up somewhere else. Electronic copies are not indestructible. They could get damaged too, or worse, hacked.
Be wary in emailing – Malwares are often sent as email attachments. Always be skeptical about weird and questionable attachments. You will also want to be inquisitive of strangers who email you. You would not want to simply give them your social security number just because they tell you that you won something, which requires identity verification.
User error can also be detrimental – Be wary of your own errors too. Always be attentive of what you send and upload online. Click with caution, as there can be no such thing as an accidentally sent social security number to a stranger who is obviously pretending as an IRS employee.
Sometimes, it still pays to keep hard copies – Especially with official documents; it helps to have a printed back-up, which should be stored in a secured place.
Although there are a lot of data protection programs available in the market, being able to practice id theft prevention on your own provides a great deal of security. Through this, you can make sure that your own actions won’t jeopardize your personal information.
Identity theft has become a serious concern today. It cannot be treated indifferently as the effects can get you into several years of financial and legal predicaments. As responsible Internet users, we cannot use technology without being cautious about information security. It is our obligation to practice effective identity theft prevention and protect ourselves from these scammers.
Amy is an active blogger who is fond of sharing interesting finance related articles to encourage people to manage and protect their finances. Follow her and know more on identity theft effects and what to do when your identity is stolen.