How to Protect Your Identity in 2020
We are well aware of the consequences of identity theft and how hard it is to claim, recover, and investigate these cases. Nevertheless, you can be sure that if you have fallen a victim of the fraud or scam, you can expect the authorities to investigate the case and provide you with relevant legal assistance.
At the same time, there is a major question: how to avoid it and secure your data? What products can be helpful in such specific matters? For instance, Equifax ID Patrol review shows that some identity protection products offer you additional financial assistance along with fraud alerts. What should you do to be sure that your personal information is not in the wrong hands?
What Is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is the most common type of cybercrime known nowadays. The cybercriminals gain access to your personal information, from social security numbers to actual ID information, and can perform credit, file taxes, or medical services frauds on your behalf. The results lead to increasing debts and your reputation damage in the eyes of credit and other companies.
Although the loss of money is stressful, and recovery of your documents is taking its time, there is also the aspect that you want to exclude at all. Your information can be sold on the Dark Web, where your credentials can feature in criminal activities and other illegal content exchange.
It is crucial to indicate the data breach in time and fill a report for the investigation.
How Can It Happen?
The problem may arise when criminals obtain access to your computer or account on the website where you can have all the necessary information. The reports show that the habit of reusing one password for various accounts opens the getaway for hackers to steal information about all relevant social media and official platforms accounts. On the other hand, we are pretty exposed to the Internet, and it is a matter of seconds for someone to know a little bit too much about us.
The less common case is when someone is searching and stealing your physical mail or getting access to your disposed papers. Often, your information can be stolen with the wallet. The widespread tactic is to deceive you into giving criminals your information or infect your computer with malware that steals the data.
Am I a Victim of Identity Theft?
For spotting identity theft, it is good to regularly check your bills, ban account activities as it may take a lot of time to receive a warning call from debt collectors or get a denial for loan application. At the same time, there are various identity theft protection products that provide you with fraud alerts and simplify the process of creating a report for the stolen wallet. On the other hand, these services are not a cure for the stolen data but rather a timely notification, so you can start acting toward the situation’s positive resolution.
How to Secure Your Data
- It is highly recommended to use only trusted networks for connections, avoid performing credit card payments on the websites that are not authentic or encrypted.
- Always double-check the emails and phone calls that request any information elaboration. Official representatives never ask you to provide sensitive information via phone calls or emails. Moreover, they never ask you to fill the authorization form (especially, when it is possible to visit your local bank for such procedures).
- The Antivirus solution is not only the protection from viruses but the possibility of identity theft. If possible, use VPN feature when connected to public WiFi, review your firewall and sharing settings.
- Subscribe for identity theft protection services. There are plenty of options and a large variety of services that can provide you with timely alarms in case of fraud attempts made on your behalf.
- Always check the safety of your documents.
- If you become a victim, you still might consider previous steps to avoid the repetition of the situation in the future. The next steps would be filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a police report.