In today’s digital world, we are continuously giving up data. We are giving it to organizations whenever we log in, to advertisers who make money by showing us ads based off of our interests, and even to Facebook which uses algorithms that decide what is posted on your timeline. All this information can be used in different ways, but most importantly it can be used against us by identity thieves who find a way to steal it.
What is Digital Identity Theft?
Digital identity theft is when an identity thief takes some or all of your personal information and uses it for the wrong reasons. This could be credit card fraud, opening a line of credit, or even worse stealing your Social Security Number to get a job. There are many other ways that they can use your name in order to break the law.
What Should I Do If I Am A Victim Of Identity Theft?
Notify The Police: There are some instances where you must report as soon as possible in order to prevent any more harm from coming to you or someone else. For instance, if you suspect that someone has stolen your identity and is using it for credit card fraud then you should call the police immediately. They can help you and in some cases even stop the transaction that is set to take place.
Reset Your Passwords: If your identity has been stolen and it comes to the point where you identify a suspicious account that you don’t remember signing up for then the password should be changed. This will prevent the thief from accessing any of your information and hopefully lock them out.
If this isn’t possible or unsuccessful, then you should contact your bank and close your account as soon as possible.
File A Complaint With The FTC: The Federal Trade Commission has set up a site called identitytheft.gov where people can file a complaint if they suspect they have been a victim of ID theft or fraud. This can prevent further damage to your credit and will allow them to take action if it is discovered.
Digital identity protection – How Can I Protect Myself Against Digital Identity Theft?
Be Aware Of Your Online Presence: The most important way to protect yourself against identity theft is simply be aware of who knows what. If you have a Facebook account and you never log onto it, then you shouldn’t leave things up there that gives away too much information about yourself. This includes account passwords, email addresses, or usernames such as “brian@blog” that someone could use to break into your online accounts.
Do Not Give Away Too Much Online: Think before posting online.
Do Not Rely On The Password Protector: People think that having a password protects them from people accessing their information. Most people use the same password for everything that they sign up for online. This is why you may get an email about this site asking for your information. Once they have your email and password they can use it to get into any of your accounts. You should always have different passwords and make sure you don’t use something that could easily be guessed such as birth dates or important numbers in your life.
Occurrence of Digital Identity Theft And Exposure in Today’s World:
The Internet has opened up many new doors to attack and thieves use this opportunity by using the information that most people just leave out there. There is the old saying “don’t put all your eggs into one basket.” When signing up for an account you have to fill out a lot of personal information in order to get it. Credit card numbers, SSN’s, hackers even can take a picture of your ID (this one is not common) and get credit cards that are already in your name. These types of attacks are becoming more common with the advancing technology and one should opt for digital identity protection. The only way to stop them is by being aware of what you are doing online and shutting down certain accounts when they aren’t needed anymore.
How To Safeguard Data Posed By Digital Identity Theft And Exposure:
Most people sign up for these websites such as Facebook or Instagram and then post private information such as their email, address, etc. without thinking about the future.
If you use a website often then you can set it up so that it doesn’t ask you for that information every time you login. You can also delete your account when you don’t need it anymore and make sure the password is different from your other accounts.
Make yourself a hard to guess password and don’t give it away to anyone. Use a password generator to make a hard to guess password and don’t worry if you forget it, because you have the generator.
If you are not sure if the website is credible then don’t enter your personal information. Go to another website and type in the info and see what kind of result you get. If it comes back with an ad for more services then you should probably stay away from that website.
Next is knowing how to spot phishing scams! This is where someone takes your information and uses it for their own purposes. They will send out an email posing as your bank or some other service that requires that information. These emails can take different forms but typically they want money, passwords, etc.
Technology has provided people with many new ways to get information about you. Many of these can be used for committing a crime. For example, if there is a wanted person that lives in your area and you have your picture on Facebook along with your address you may receive a message from the FBI asking for more information. In this scenario, it is up to you to decide if the information they are asking for is necessary to help them solve their case or if it is simply a scam and should be reported immediately.
There are many ways that criminals get your information today as it still comes straight from the phone when you call them or by going online and seeing what personal details they can take without being noticed.