According to the U.S. Division of Justice, identity theft, also known as identity fraud, occurs when a criminal utilizes another person’s personally identifiable information (PII) to commit fraud or deception. Usually, this is done for financial advantage. Identity theft can be done in a variety of methods. Your date of birth, credentials, passport details, Social Security number or Social Protection Card, credit and bank account details, cellphone number, death and birth documents, medical ID number, and biometric data is essential information that can be used to identify you.
Your PII is valuable to identity thieves because they can use it to open new bank accounts, make purchases using your credit cards, get medical care through your health insurance, or take money from your bank accounts in your name. Consumers are advised by the Federal Trade Commission to pay particular attention to unexpected bank account transactions, phone calls from collection agencies regarding unpaid bills, and warnings claiming their account information has been exposed due to a data breach. Your health insurance company may inform you that a claim was made for the care you never got. These are indicators that your PII may have been compromised. Here are three practical technological hints for avoiding identity theft.
1- Employ a Password Manager
Using solid and one-of-a-kind passwords for your online accounts is one of the best strategies to stop identity theft. Nevertheless, it can be challenging to remember hundreds of complex passwords, so many users end up using the same weak password for numerous accounts. Password managers can help with this. Using a password manager is a convenient way to utilize solid and one-of-a-kind passwords for all your accounts without remembering them all.
2- Make Two-Factor Authentication Available
With two-factor authentication (2FA), you must enter two different forms of identity to access your accounts. Usually, you must enter your password and input a code that was either texted or produced by an authentication program. Even if a hacker already has your password, you may make it considerably more difficult for them to access your accounts by turning on 2FA. Google, Facebook, and Twitter are just a few well-known websites with 2FA alternatives.
3- Use Public Wi-Fi with Caution
Public Wi-Fi networks, like those in hotels, airports, and coffee shops, are frequently insecure and vulnerable to hacking. You face the danger of having sensitive information intercepted by a hacker if you access sensitive information over public Wi-Fi, including your bank account or email. Avoid utilizing public Wi-Fi for delicate tasks whenever you can protect yourself. Use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your connection and stop hackers from intercepting your data if you use public Wi-Fi.
Using these three technology suggestions, you may significantly lower your risk of being a victim of identity theft. These are only a few of the many precautions you may take to safeguard yourself, so it’s vital to remain aware and current on the most recent dangers and security measures. Even if you don’t think identity theft could happen to you, it’s smart to take precautions to eliminate any possibilities.