6 Ways to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

6 Ways to Protect Yourself from identity Theft

How would you feel if you woke up one day to find that you are a wanted person because a fraud or crime was done using your identity? Bad is an understatement. Every person or business is a solid brand.

It takes time and effort to put your life together only for your identity to be stolen with a just a click of the mouse. Whether your identity is as big as SEO Mississauga or as small as a name without a title, no one is exempted from the rising crime of identity theft. With the access of your security number, birthdates, addresses or driving licenses, your finances could be swept clean or your company systems hacked.

As scary as that sounds, is there a way to protect yourself? Yes, by first knowing the enemy, then attacking it. Here is how;

  1. IP address

As simple as it looks, your IP address can be used to track your location and movements. Worse still, the cookies sent can be used to collect your personal data. Identity thieves are very knowledgeable and tech savvy but you can beat them at their game. Shield your IP address.

How? Thanks to advancing technology, there are softwares in the market like HMA that was built specifically to help with this problem. Get one and stay safe.

  1. Public WIFI and Hotspots

They say free things are expensive, when it comes to identity theft, they surely are. A person can steal your personal information by creating a hotspot and as soon as you subscribe to use it, all of it is drained away. You can fight this by always creating a virtual private network or updating your sharing and firewall settings. This will create an access and theft proof.

  1. Passwords

The importance of a password cannot be overstated. Remember that look on your face when you were told your password was not strong enough? They are just wasting my time, you thought. Truth is, the strength of your password will literally determine if you will be broken into or not.

You like it simple because you can remember it, but at what cost? Next time take advantage of the choice to choose a password and make it as hard to crack as possible .That way, no one can figure you out and you can be sure that all your details are safe.

  1. URLs

If a company like apple was hacked into by just creating a URL that looked almost the same as the company website, who are you? The point is, if you are not careful enough a single character can be the dead of you. Always check URLs and mails you receive carefully to avoid falling prey.

       5.Two factor authentication

This is an extra layer of security for your identity. You not only need a username and a password to access any system; you also need information that only the user has and should be given in real-time. This could be a security question that need to be answered or a code that only the use has. It is important to take advantage of this security measure to protect yourself from identity theft.

       6 .Credit Reports

With the sharing of clients credit history among organizations, much of your information is out there. It is sad that some hackers can access them and give you an identity suicide. To be safe, you can contact those agencies instructing ng them to freeze your reports. This makes your information inaccessible without your permission.

Conclusion

Other than scrupulous businesses selling our information to crooks, the information age has exposed us to new threats in the name of identity theft. It will cost you money, time and emotional damage to have your good name back. Now that you know what exposes you to the enemy ,take your weapons and win the battle.

Tips for Curbing Cyber Crime In Business

Tips for Curbing Cyber Crime In Business

Cybercrime and cybersecurity remain the biggest fears for businesses and governments. With criminals devising new and smarter hacking/ disruption techniques by the day, banking passwords and trading secrets aren’t as safe. Unfortunately, you hardly see the attack coming, so, you have to prevent any possibility of attack. After all, prevention is better than cure.

Here are some of the techniques that will help keep your business safe:

  1. Use secure connections

There are millions of downloadable programs whose main purpose is to hack and access data on your system. This means that you should avoid downloading suspicious apps. Also, you should be careful about connecting to the internet using the free internet in the café; even if all you want to do is to download a time-sensitive and free job application form.

Being cautious and even paranoid is important because when you open up a folder shared unknowingly through Microsoft-supported program SHAREit or Apple’s AirDrop, you make your sensitive data a playground for hackers.

If you have to use public WiFi, you should get a VPN to encrypt traffic. That will make it harder for cybercriminals to intercept your data.  You should also disable shared folders.

  1. Penetration testing

To prevent cyber attacks, you’ll have to undertake routine tests, and IT audits to ensure optimum levels of security. The best penetration tests are run by third parties who should audit your computerized information systems and data. Penetration tests identify the vulnerability of your system by taking a keen look at the firewalls of business. By analyzing and identifying weak points, you will know where to direct your efforts and security strategies.

The penetration tests will also shed light on your security level and recommend the best remedial activities.

  1. HTTPS and not HTTP

How often do you double check the URL of the site you are visiting? Are your social media, banking, and email connected on a secure site? As you punch in usernames and passwords every day, you should be thinking about the possibility of the site not being as safe as you purport it to be.

Why go to sites with the ‘S’ at the end? The HTTPS sites follow much more secure protocols hence safer than HTTP sites. HTTPS isn’t common with most sites, but mobile sites are adopting this URL faster. Twitter is also adopting the HTTPS. On the downside, it is only available for desktop browsers and not on mobile browsers.

  1. Secure Important data

Any device connected to the internet is unsafe even when you have the latest security installation. When not in use, you should disconnect your device from the internet. If you need to access information online, then you should get a cloud-based system. It should have a high-security setting. One of best cloud security systems will have an AES256 bit end-to-end encryption and with data centers in the EU and Switzerland.

You may also consider isolating sensitive customer information by keeping it on an internal server disconnected from the internet.

You also need to consider keeping your devices in secure places in case of theft. Including disk encryption will prevent any unauthorized access to your data.

Final Thoughts

Criminals are devising smarter ways of accessing sensitive data about individuals and corporates. Other than the measures above, you should disclose your personal information on unsecured websites, don’t enter your credit card number to a site that isn’t secure and use latest/ updated antivirus software applications. Lastly, don’t send photos online.