Online identity theft has become so widespread and is among the leading ways through which criminals get access to your personal information. In order to protect yourself from becoming a victim there are various things you can do to ensure you do not fall into this trap.
The Federal Trade Commission, through numerous researches, has been able to conclude that identity theft is one of the leading crimes in terms of how fast it is growing.
Online Identity Theft Is Hard To Detect
There are various reasons that have led to this crime being popular among many criminals. They include the fact that they can easily be carried out, it is almost undetectable and those that carry out this type of crime cannot easily be traced and apprehended to pay for their crimes. The internet has even made the situation worse by making it quite an effortless or simple crime to commit.
As much as this it may seem like there is nothing much that can be done in regard to individuals protecting themselves that is not entirely true since one does not require much to protect themselves against identity theft.
To begin with, be very careful when using file sharing sites. These sites have made distribution of files between people who have access to the internet quite easy. The issue with these sites comes in due to the fact that they can easily be penetrated and vital information stolen. When installing any of these programs, keenly look through the privacy settings and ensure that you completely guard your computer against criminals looking to hack into your system and steal your details.
And to top it off when you are through working on any of these file sharing sites make sure you exit in the appropriate manner. If you are internet connection is through DSL you may form the habit of leaving it on all the time even when not in use. Although it may be beneficial to you since you can access the internet whenever you need it, it can also work against you since hackers can easily gain access to your private data when your internet is connected. It is, therefore, important to log off and shut down your computer once you are through using the internet. Some specialists even recommend that you switch off your internet link when not using it.
A good number of online hackers use some fake websites and emails to dupe unsuspecting surfers to giving out their private information. They usually portray themselves as people working with the IRS or some financial institution through email. They do this in order to quickly win trust and avoid being asked too many questions regarding why they require personal details. They mostly ask for current home addresses, social security details and bank account numbers.
People who fall victim to online identity theft instantly have their bank accounts cleaned out as well their identities taken and transactions made using their credit card details.