On average, most of us know a person who has had Internet Identity Theft or we are victims of Identity theft. Internet Identity Theft happens if one’s data or personal information is stolen online for use in illegal activities. It comes in various forms and online criminals are becoming wiser by day. Some of the common forms of internet identity theft include; skimming, data breaches, phishing, unsecured internet connections and smartphones.
To correct an identity theft case, one uses approximately 600 hours before the issue is sorted out and you get your identity back. In most cases you know nothing about the people who stole your identity neither are you aware of how they managed to do it. One cannot be 100% safe from Internet Identity Theft but one can lower the chances of that happening significantly. The burden is now on you to take protective measures to ensure you do not fall victim of identity theft.
Common Preventive Measures against Internet Identity Theft
- Constantly Monitor your data both Online and Offline
Victims can go for years without realizing that their identity has been stolen. One should constantly monitor their name online and offline to check out if there are any illegal activities associated with your identity or activities you have not legally authorized. Google your name on top search engines.
- Shred all Personal data you need to Dispose
Any financial information document that you have and you need to dispose of, you should shred them before disposing of. You bank account details, credit card details, and your bills are very sensitive information that should not be left exposed to the public. You should also opt out of pre-approved credit card offers if you do not need them as criminals can use that information to get your bank details.
- Frequently Order your Credit Report
Credit bureaus show your credit details summations and you can use it to see if you have any loans that you have not taken up.
- Monitor your Online Bank Account
Most banks now have online bank systems. All you have to do is log in frequently and check out your transactions. If you notice any suspicious activity that you did not authorize, you should immediately alert your bank.
- Avoid Public Networks when carrying out Personal Transactions
Public networks are open to hackers and it gives people access to your devices and worse they can even install malware and spyware on your devices. Criminals can view your internet usage and be able to track you via your social media. Once they get your details they can use them for any illegal thing they want to.
- Lookout for Phishing Websites
These sites usually promise business heaven in exchange of some details like; credit card number, social security number, driver’s license number, home address, phone number, health insurance Id etc. it is always wise to verify any company that you give such information before you give your details.
If you notice any illegality in any of your accounts, one should report the case to the police on suspicious Internet identity theft. You should immediately give a call to your bank for them to make the relevant changes on your account. You should also alert the credit monitoring agencies so that they can stop any credit transactions with your name.