The internet evolves rapidly, so does its good and bad side. In this post we are focusing on the bad side, specifically identity theft, its facts, myths and how best you can protect yourself against this threat that has been plaguing the internet daily.
Identity theft has evolved over the ages and cybercriminals have come up with or upgraded the old methods, and now they have a powerful arsenal against internet users. This means some protection methods are obsolete and to be safe, you must be abreast with the current techniques. According to reports, in recent years including this year, identity theft affects millions of people, exposes lots of personally identifying information, and this costs billions of dollars.
To avoid these disturbing statistics in the future, we’ll debunk common myths associated with identity theft.
Identity theft attacks only target important people/organizations
Go big or go home is not a phrase synonymous with all cybercriminals. It’s true that some identity theft attacks target important people and organizations, but that’s not the general case. To cover their tracks, cybercriminals will target everybody within a specified range or even take down the whole network. Also, by targeting a larger group, cybercriminals may get other accrued benefits such as important files, bank information, and other useful records that they didn’t anticipate. So, by any chance, if you were not prepared, you might be caught unawares and fall into the attacker’s widespread attack.
You’ll never fall victim to identity theft if you’re cautious enough
You can’t be too careful when it comes to the internet. Prudence is a virtue one needs to have when surfing on the internet. Usually, people tend to take care of their security, privacy, get rid of vulnerabilities, update their system and do everything the way it’s supposed to. Once all is done, they take a seat back and relax. But since the internet and cybercriminals continue to evolve, one cannot simply prevent all identity theft since more sophisticated attacks are on the rise. While being cyber aware when it comes to identity theft, cybercriminals may use other ways to get into your details, such as hacking the organization where your data is stored.
Banks and credit card companies protect you against identity theft activities
Most banks only offer zero-liability policy – they’ll reimburse you, and you won’t be liable for unauthorized charges. But sometimes it’s hard to implement this policy when sophisticated identity theft attacks are involved, and the process may take some time. Although this policy protects your funds, you’re not protected from identity theft. Your information can be used to propagate other attacks
Your personal information is safe if you freeze your credit card
In the event you fall victim to an identity theft attack, the first thing you do is to freeze your credit cards and other financial accounts. This makes it hard for malicious actors to gain access to your funds. What you should know is that your information is still in the hands of cyber criminals and can still be used to propagate other attacks such as employment fraud, medical identity fraud or even file insurance claims to obtain benefits such as medical care. Besides freezing your credit cards, you will have to contact lots of companies where your data is actively used.
Identity theft doesn’t affect children and senior citizens
Identity theft attacks affect everyone, be it they use the internet or not, whether they are kids or senior citizens – everyone can fall victim of identity theft attacks. Children are more vulnerable since they have a clean credit record. A cybercriminal with all the necessary information can exploit this clean record and get a loan; children will only realize this when they’re older. Older people tend to forget things easily, and hence they can be manipulated by social engineering attacks to reveal details that can lead to identity theft.
Identity theft protection
There are many ways you can make sure that cybercriminals don’t get access to your information. Both actively and passively. But prevention is better than cure. So always be cyber aware and be abreast with changing techniques used to steal your identity. You can start by protecting your identity and your devices.
Use a VPN – IPBurger VPN
Apart from using security software to protect your devices, IPBurger VPN is your best bet to protect your identity while you are on the internet. With powerful military-grade encryptions, prying eyes won’t get access to your internet traffic and hence what you transmit over the internet will be safe. Additionally, IPBurger VPN servers assign you a virtual IP address that masks your actual IP address. This helps you to achieve anonymity while on the internet.