How to Protect Yourself From Online Identity Theft

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Getting your identity stolen is a risk that most people do not think about on a day to day basis. After all, we do not hear about it happening as much as we hear about other belongings being taken, for example cars or expensive home electronics. However, identity theft is becoming increasingly more common, particularly as online criminals become more sophisticated and come up with new ways to steal your identity from the online services that you use like online banking. So, what can you do to avoid having your identity stolen online and keep yourself safe?

Use Strong Passwords:

One of the easiest ways to get hacked is through your password. Today, hackers use automated tools that will guess hundreds of passwords every second until they get the right one and have access to your account. The sad fact is that most people are not very creative when it comes to coming up with passwords and will often create ones that are easy to remember. But the fact with that is that these passwords are also often easy to guess. Using a password generator and password manager tool that will come up with unique, difficult-to-guess passwords for you is key.

Find Out What’s Available:

Public records have made it possible for us to find out information on anybody. Whether you’re looking up criminal records for a background check or want to find out who is calling you from a number that you do not recognize, Nuwber can help. However, if you can find information online about other people, then chances are that other people can also find information on you. It’s good practice to routinely search for yourself to make sure that there is no sensitive information about you available for anybody to find. If there is, you can apply to have it taken down.

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Use a VPN on Public Wi-Fi:

If you are going to access a sensitive online account like your online banking, then don’t do this using a public Wi-Fi service. Public Wi-Fi that you can usually get for completely free of charge in many settings like coffee shops, libraries, supermarkets, shopping malls, airports and train stations is very convenient for us to use, especially if you are on the go and need to access the internet. However, it is also typically a very unsecured network that hackers can easily infiltrate to gain access to the device that you are using. That means that any personal information that you have saved regarding your identity on your device could end up in the hands of criminals. To protect yourself, always use a VPN when you are connecting to a public Wi-Fi service.

Use Two-Step Authentication:

Sadly, strong passwords are often not enough to keep hackers out of your personal and private accounts. Don’t rely on your password alone and ensure that you have a second layer of protection for your information with two-step authentication, which is often required by banks and other companies that provide accounts to customers where sensitive information is stored. Two-step authentication involves sending you a text message or email to confirm when you try to log in. If somebody gets your password and tries to log into your account,  they will not be able to get any further if they don’t provide the code sent to you.

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David
David is a 28-year-old struggling artist who enjoys planking, upcycling and binge-watching boxed sets.