May 28, 2019
Identity theft is the term used to refer to any form of crime where an individual illegally uses another person’s data in a way that is both fraudulent and deceptive. In today’s digital world, there are a multitude of methods for cyber criminals to steal your identity online. For instance, you might respond to a “phishing” email which promises beneficial information in exchange for your personal and identifying data.
Once someone steals your identity, they can use it to withdraw money from your accounts, create false applications for loans and credit cards, and obtain other privileges attached to your name. In fact, identity theft costs senior citizens $3 billion each year. But, you don’t have to remain a victim. You can use cyber security to protect your identity. Keep reading to learn more.
Don’t Use Personal Information for Your Password
One thing hackers are quite aware of is the probability of people who use personal information in their passwords. For example, they would scan your public profiles to learn more information about you such as pet names, birthdays, children’s names, spouse’s names, place of work, and more. Then, cyber criminals start with using this type of information to crack passwords.
It’s hard to believe how many people use their pet’s names as their passwords. As a result, you must steer clear of using personal information for your password since this is simply too easy to hack. Instead, use a password generator that includes the strongest types of passwords you can use today.
Use a Password Manager
These days, it’s vital to create secure and strong passwords. And, you should have a different password for your many online accounts. Yet, it is extremely difficult to remember all of your passwords. You don’t want to write them down since anyone can steal that piece of paper. The same is true of saving them in an online document. Instead, a password manager can manage all of your many passwords and help you to create complicated passwords as needed.
Change Your Email Image Settings
Another way cyber criminals try to steal your identity is by embedding images that automatically display once you open an email. Then, that image can quickly steal your identifying credentials. On the other hand, you should change your email image settings to display text only. So, images will no longer display automatically. And, you can decide if you want to open an image if it’s from a sender you trust.
Scan Your Devices for Malware and Viruses
Install an antivirus and anti-malware application that performs real-time scanning. Even if it runs automatically, schedule it for once a week so you know your devices will get scanned at least once a week. Furthermore, you should also manually execute a scan at least once per month. Taking this a step further, if you use your devices heavily, then run manual scans several times per month.
When we put most of our lives on our computers, then it’s critical for us to protect our identifying information. It’s time to take an active approach to protecting your sensitive data.