Identity theft is a big issue nowadays, with most people going online to carry out various financial and non-financial tasks. You should take care to safeguard your personal information like name, address, bank account and credit card details, social security number, etc. Otherwise, they can be exploited by cybercriminals to steal your money in various ways or access confidential investment, legal, and medical records. Some of the top ways in which sensitive information can fall into the hands of miscreants:
Losing Your Wallet or Purse
It is possible for you to lose your wallet inadvertently, or it may also get stolen. It is a good idea never to carry too much cash or too many credit cards in it. Make it a point never to carry your Social Security card or a list of accounts and passwords that thieves can use to defraud you. Keep your credit card details in a secure place, so that you can easily access it for reporting card loss to the issuers from anywhere.
Using public Wi-Fi
Using public Wi-Fi hotspots may be convenient and faster, not to speak cheaper, however, since these networks are not secured, you can’t safeguard the data you may be transmitting or receiving, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. You should never use public Wi-Fi for carrying out banking transactions, shopping, or accessing sensitive and confidential information. If you have an urgent need to go online when outside, use a VPN service to ensure security.
SIM Card Swap
A SIM card swap takes place when someone with mischievous intent takes over the control of your mobile phone SIM. You are likely to stop getting calls and messages or even get a notice that your account can be reactivated if you send back the OTP received on your phone. You should never respond to calls or messages requiring you to disclose your OTP under any pretext. If the apps you are using permit the use of two-factor authentication, make sure you set it up as this can make hacking difficult, according to the identity guard review.
Credit Card Skimming
It is good practice not to let your credit card out of sight because it is easy for someone to read and replicate the card using a simple skimming device. Use your cards at places where the card can be read on a portable machine. Ask your card issuer to give you a card with an EMV chip that makes skimming more difficult than ones with only a magnetic strip on the reverse. Setting up an SMS alert system will enable you to know every time your card has been used so that you can immediately report fraudulent use.
With scammers becoming smarter by the day, you need to constantly on your guard to prevent confidential and sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. In addition to watching out for online data breaches and theft using high technology, it is also good to be careful to be on the alert to people showing undue interest in you when you are logging into accounts on your computer, using your credit cards at retail counters, or when withdrawing