Identity theft is a prevalent problem where cybercriminals are using digital means to steal personal data relating to victims. Nevertheless, identity theft is a complex form of cyber fraud which not only involves stealing but includes impersonation. A typical identity theft attack consists of an adversary acquiring information relating to the personal identity of a victim such as name, D.O.B, address and bank account details. The personal information is used by the cybercriminal to impersonate thevictim over the phone or digitally to access money, credit and several other benefits. Impersonation using identity theft allows cybercriminals to clear bank accounts and in extreme circumstances impersonators may commit further crimes with the name of the victim.
TechDecoded has the following tips to protect against Identity Theft:
Be Selective about data sharing – Restrict data sharing to trusted sources. Selectively pick what personal information will be shared online. Think about who is asking for the information and why do they require the data? What will they use the data for? Limit personal information shared on social media.
Use strong System Security Software – Ensure every device connected to the Internet has a proficient security software system installed capable of handling malware and other cyber threats efficiently. Avoid using unknown vendors, select trusted and reputable security software providers.
Exert caution when clicking links- Avoid clicking URL links or downloading email attachments unless completely certain about the authenticity of the sender. Download email attachments from trusted sources only. Best practice is to manually enter a URL link into the address bar of browser as opposed to clicking a link. Typically, cybercriminals disguise malware or another phishing scam within URL links designed to steal personal information and data.
– Avoid shopping on websites that do not have a SSL security certificate. To verify a website has a secure medium over which data is transferred look for “https” with a padlock within the URL address bar. Share confidential information such as credit/debit card details only on secure platforms with trusted, established and well-known vendors. Visit the website of each retailer by manually entering their URL within the address bar.