There is no denying that identity theft is one of the most common cybercrimes. There has been a global increase in its cases since the pandemic.
According to Federal Trade Commission, there were almost 1.4 million identity theft cases in 2021. It is one of the most severe crimes, as you can lose your finances or gain a criminal record. And the scariest part is that this all takes place without your knowledge. So, if you avoid security measures, you are making your devices more vulnerable to hacks.
Now the question arises how you can prevent it? So, here are some ways via which you can stop hackers from stealing your identity.
Monitor Your Credit Cards
One of the most effective ways to protect yourself against identity theft is to monitor your credit cards, and billing reports frequently. Check for unauthorized charges or withdrawals. If you notice any unusual transaction, immediately call your bank, freeze your account, and file a complaint.
Don’t Open Strange Attachments
Getting your identity stolen via phishing attachments is very easy. The phishing emails mimic the original banking domains and send emails to trick people into clicking the attachment or downloading it. There are also bogus banking websites that look credible, so when you visit those, you are redirected to another website. And till the time you realize that the website is fake, malware has already entered your system. It keeps on stealing your data, and you will not even realize it. So, it is important to avoid opening websites or attachments you are not sure of. Always confirm with your bank before downloading any files.
Moreover, also ensure you have an antivirus, firewall protection, and a complete cyber security suite to prevent such incidents. You can ask your ISP about the security features they offer because cybercrimes have increased. For example, Windstream offers Kinetic Security Packs to safeguard your devices from online threats. It secures your data and transactions and prevents malware from downloading into your system. So, if you are interested in choosing Windstream, then visit its website.
Shred Important Documents
If you make the mistake of disposing of the important statements in the bin, then now is the time to stop. You should shred confidential documents into pieces and ensure that no one can read them again. Moreover, when you delete a file from your computer, it is saved in the recycle bin, and a third party can easily retrieve it. So, try investing in a document shredder that disposes of the file so it cannot be retrieved back.
You should download antivirus software such as Norton 360, McAfee, Bitdefender, and so on. Without them, your personal and banking information is always at risk of getting stolen. Several types of viruses can attack your system for different reasons, and a good antivirus can detect all of them. Even if a virus enters your system, it is detected and deleted, thus, safeguarding your personal information.
Safeguard Your Social Security Number
Your Social Security number is the key to your data. So, do not carry your social card with you, and do not even share it on your social media. Guard it as much as you can.
Use Strong Passwords
You must have heard this many times! But do not neglect its importance, as this is still considered to be the best defense against attacks. You can use a password manager to create strong and complex passwords so hackers cannot breach your accounts. Always think about what you post on social media, and do not give clues about your security questions or passwords you can keep. The hackers are quite smart and they analyze your accounts for clues and information.
Protect Your Personal Information
Do not post too much personal information, such as your birthdate, office hours, address, and so on. Moreover, keep your social media accounts private and do not add every stranger you come across. As someone might be monitoring your online activities, your negligence could result in serious damage. Also, do not shop from every eCommerce store you come across. Only shop from reliable ones to ensure your banking information remains safe.
Anyone can fall victim to identity theft, so it is important to take the right measures to prevent it. Nothing can be dangerous as someone stealing your identity and indulging in illegal activities. So, use the above-mentioned steps and enhance your online safety.