In the last decade, identify theft has gained quite a bit of momentum and has managed to become somewhat of an epidemic. Now, security on the internet—or lack thereof—has taken center stage. You have probably heard about cases where people acquire incurring debts as a result of the activities of impersonators and identity thieves. Even more prevailing are cases of people realizing that their credit cards and banking details are compromised and malicious actors are utilizing them.
All of these are classic examples of the effects of the considerable surge in identity theft. The internet is not a safe place and hackers are always looking for vulnerable users to attack. The infographic below is a thorough analysis of the situation and just how much risk you and I are exposed to when we open new accounts or simply connect to the internet.
What Is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is the nefarious use of someone else’s identity or personal details for acts like applying for a loan, using a credit card or any other illegal act that borders on impersonation. No matter the form identity theft takes, the result is always the loss of money or integrity of the original owner’s identity and/or details.
Interestingly enough, although you would think that identity theft is solely limited to activities dealing with a person’s private information, the advent of synthetic identities cyber fraud and biometrics as a form of identifying individuals has widened the scope. Now, fingerprints, device ID fraud and even facial recognition scams are prominently becoming an issue common with identity theft.
Although the level of insecurity has permitted a surge in these nefarious acts, there are simple practices that can help us escape falling victim to identity thieves and hackers. As listed in this infographic, most of the effective ways of deterring these incidents don’t require any special skills or knowledge.
How Can You Protect Yourself from Identity Theft?
Do Not Use One-Factor Verification
Facial recognition and fingerprint scanning are trending as the most utilized form of identity verification. Although these are secure and easier than the traditional password system which requires that you memorize and create new passwords for each account, they are still a one-factor verification system. This means that the moment attackers successfully bypass them, you are completely vulnerable to unauthorized access. Two-factor verification, which combines biometrics and other forms of authentication, is much more efficient.
Encrypt All Your Data
Operating software is becoming data privacy conscious and many of them come with encryption options for all your information. Encrypting the data on all your devices will protect them from spying eyes. Many a time, identity thieves use viruses, malware, and spyware to steal our private information. You can counter this by installing quality software that will quickly identify them, isolate them, and neutralize them.
Spot Phishing Scams
Phishing scams mostly come in the form of emails asking you to click a link where you can reset your passwords for your banking accounts or other sensitive accounts. You will be less vulnerable to these sorts of scams when you learn how to spot them.
Identity theft is a threat to our finances as well as our integrity; we should do everything we can when it comes to issues relating to protecting our identity. The above-listed practices are some helpful ways to protect your information and avoid identity theft of any kind.