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;
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.