Identity fraud can overturn your life. It requires a huge amount of time and effort to fix the harm and the eventual outcomes can be felt for quite a long time or even years.
Indeed, even the biggest organizations experience data breaches, suffering the loss of client passwords and individual data that would then be able to be used to submit fraud. Furthermore, smaller associations, governments, and schools are increasingly under attack by cyber-criminals too. To put it plainly, we’re all in danger.
While you can’t do a lot to improve your bank’s cybersecurity stance, there are some straightforward steps you can take to protect yourself. If you want to avoid identity fraud, here are 6 things that you can do.
Check Your Passwords
We talk about the importance of passwords a lot, however, there’s a valid justification for that: When it comes to cybercrime, we are the cause of all our problems. Weak or reused passwords make it simple for criminals to access our records, grab our data and from that point, steal our identities.
Create Strong, unique passwords for each record or service that you possess. Get a password manager like Bit-warden or KeePassXC to make it simpler to recollect those passwords. Password managers can likewise be used to make ultra-strong passwords that use long, arbitrary series of letters, numbers and uncommon characters; making them uncrackable.
Even if you’re following password best practices, play out a self-review to check whether one of your records has been engaged with a data breach. Checkup tools like haveibeenpwned or Chrome’s Password Checkup extension, can not protect you from unfamiliar breaches, however, they can inform you as to whether one of your records was caught in a known breach. Ultimately, think about using two-factor authentication at whatever point possible; that way, if the unthinkable activity occurs and somebody gets their hands on your master secret phrase, they won’t have quick access to your records.
Secure Your Networks
Strong, unique passwords are a fantastic method to protect yourself from data fraud and different types of cybercrime. But, they are not a ‘magic’ solution because criminals do not always require your secret word to gather enough data about you to take your personality.
Practice good network security at home, securing your Wi-Fi network with solid encryption protocols and giving it a name that doesn’t give any clues with regards to the sort of router you are using or what your identity is. When you’re in public, don’t use unsecured Wi-Fi networks or send sensitive information over a public connection. Even on a password protected public networks, consider using a VPN to include an additional layer of security by encrypting your network traffic.
Don’t Get Phished
Next to weak passwords, falling to phishing tricks is one of the most widely recognized ways that individuals give away their information and this can prompt data fraud. Even huge associations and governments have fallen to these attacks.
First, be alert. Understand that not everything that comes into your inbox is legit, regardless of whether it gives off an impression of being legit. Furthermore, know that your bank or medical clinic will never request that you send unencrypted data through email and that any such demands are likely fake. Next, figure out how to spot regular kinds of phishing messages. On the off chance that you have any questions about the sender’s authenticity, don’t click on any links or open their attachments. Lastly, start examining anything you download with a strong antivirus program before you open it.
Beware of Phone Scam
Not all phishing attacks are delivered by email. Be vigilant for phone phishing, a kind of attack wherein malicious actors call their targets pretending to be from an organization or a government office trying to convince them to give sensitive data.
Remember that your bank will never call you requesting your passwords or other sensitive data via phone-call; that is simply not how they work. Try not to be threatened by somebody guaranteeing that you’re being examined or that you are in a difficult situation. It’s only a panic strategy intended to rattle you. If somebody calls you about an issue with your account or service, approach them for a reference number or case number and state you will get back to them. Be certain not to call any number that they give, as this likely could be fake! Rather, call the organizations mainline straightforwardly and check whether they know anything about the case.
Check Your Credit
One of the reasons that fraud is so difficult to recover from is that it frequently goes unnoticed until the issue is genuinely serious. If criminals rack up a while of charges on falsely opened Visas, it can take a tremendous amount of time and effort to fix the harm.
Check your credit report consistently and filter for indications of suspicious action. That way, if you do find something out of order, you will have the option to caution the best possible specialists rapidly, before things escape hand. Finally, be careful not to visit imitation sites as these may themselves be fake.
Flag It or Freeze It
Sometimes, despite every one of our precautionary measures, the worst can occur. So what would be advisable for you to believe that your data or identity may have been stolen, or that a fraudulent attempt to open a credit account in your name is imminent?
Federal law gives two strategies for protecting yourself in this situation. Your first option is to flag your credit record by mentioning a “fraud alert”. This will notify any business or financial establishment that a request to open a credit extension in your name might be fraudulent. If they get such a request, they will find a way to check the personality of the requestor and ensure it’s truly you. The second, extreme measure is to request a “credit freeze”. Credit freezes make it unimaginable for anybody to get access to your record (even you). This implies that nobody can open another record in your name for any reason. It is possible to unfreeze and afterward refreeze your credit record, yet it takes a bit of work; so a credit freeze should possibly be used if absolutely important. It’s unrealistic to take out all risk, particularly with regards to something like identity theft: We’re just not in the complete authority of how our data is secured. The companies which collect and store our information will, ideally, keep on improving their security. However, meanwhile, you can significantly reduce your risk of identity fraud by taking the steps outlined above.
How to choose a secure password?
If you prefer to pick and manage your passwords or if you just need a really good one to use as your master password in a password manager program. Here are a few tips for avoiding poor quality passwords.
1. Create unique passwords that use a combination of words, numbers, symbols and both upper- lower letters.
2. Do not use your network username as your passwords.
3. Do not use easily guessed passwords, such as “passwords” or “user”.
4. Do not choose passwords based upon details that may not be confidential, such as your birthday, your social security or phone number, or the name of family members or pets or anything else you post about on social media.
5. Do not use words that can be found in the dictionary. Password-cracking tools are available online with dictionary lists that will try thousands of common names and passwords. If you want to use them then try adding a numeral to them.
6. Avoid using keyboard combinations such as “qwerty” and “asdzxc” and “123456”.
7. Complexity is nice, but length is key. Picking an alphanumeric password that was eight to ten characters in length used to be a good practice. It is quite difficult to build extremely powerful and fast password-cracking tools that can try millions of possible password combinations per second.
8. Avoid using the same password at multiple websites.
9. Never use the password which you have picked for your email account. If the website you are registered gets hacked then there is a good chance that someone will be reading your email soon.
10. Do not store your passwords on your computer in plain text. If your computer gets hacked, hackers will get access to that file.
How to remember your password securely?
1. Create a list of every website for which you have a password and next to each one write your login name and a clue that has meaning only for you.
2. Use a password manager programs which are built to do that for you. All of them sit into your browser and handle the insertion of your passwords when you visit a site at which you have previously asked the program to remember your password. You only need to create and remember a single “master password” that you will be asked when you visit one of those websites.