7 Tips to prevent identity theft online
Security | 16 May 2018
Identity theft remains a huge problem despite efforts of government organisations to crack down.
There are tens of thousands of cases of identity theft in Australia alone. And some other parts of the world such as the U.S. see more than 15 million per year.
As an avid internet user, streamer, online shopper, or social media participant, you owe it to yourself to take preventative measures against identity theft. Here are some helpful tips to get started.
1. Limit the personal information you share
One of the most effective ways you can protect your identity online is to limit the amount of personal information you share on public websites.
For those of you using dating apps and sites, you should be extra careful. A number of ID predators use these sites to take advantage of their victims. Keep your communication casual and always be aware of the worst possible scenario. That way you can avoid it!
2. Don’t include personal info in passwords
Another mistake that many people make is including some of their personal information in their online account passwords. This is the first thing a hacker is going to use if they are trying to crack into your accounts and steal your identity.
Make sure to use passwords that are a healthy mix of both upper and lower case letters, numbers and even odd characters. Create something that is impossible to guess!
3. Shop on secure sites
This may seem like a no-brainer, but if a deal seems too good to be true sometimes it’s impossible to leave the credit card in your pocket!
Make sure you only shop on secure websites. Look out for the “lock” icon in your browser bar, the “https://” framing of the web address, and any other security signals you can spot.
The “https://”, for example, means that the site makes an effort to protect your safety and the integrity of your personal information with an approved security certificate.
4. Don’t save credit card information
Some websites offer their customers convenience by keeping their credit and debit cards on file for easy future access. It may be tempting to save your information, but this puts you at risk if the website ever has a security breach.
5. Use a secure internet service
Another way that you can protect yourself from identity theft is by using a reliable internet service provider like MATE. We make an extra effort to protect our customers from identity theft by using the latest security technology and staying up-to-date with recent breaches or known infiltrations from hackers.
6. Implement antivirus software
You can add a layer of extra protection by using antivirus software. Antivirus protection is becoming more advanced as each day passes. Almost all of the software available is designed to protect you while you are surfing online doing your shopping and other important tasks.
If you have a tight budget, you can even search for free software to use.
7. Buy identity theft protection
Finally, if you have some extra money in your budget, you can opt to purchase identity theft protection. ID theft protection is a service that tracks your online activity and other information about you to ensure that no strange account is opened in your name.
The price varies for protection from about $9.95 to $30.00 or more. So it’s affordable, but a step that not everyone would feel essential to take!
We don’t want you to freak out about identity theft and online security breaches, because even though there is a risk, it is still a rare occurrence. Most internet users will never come across a breach. With that being said, you can take some precautions that will give you peace of mind.