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How to protect yourself against identity theft

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Jeanh, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. [​IMG]
    With identity theft and online fraud growing rapidly you need some protection. Here are some tips and advice on how to safeguard yourself against these cyber-crimes.


    Earlier this year the BBC Please or Register to view links which nailed the issues. It reported on figures from fraud prevention agency Please or Register to view links which said the number of victims of identity theft rose by 31% to 32,058 in the first three months of 2015, compared to first three months of 2014.

    Curiously the story said the Beeb had also learnt that criminals are increasingly using internet forums to buy and sell data. It’s curious in that dark web internet forums are the go-to-place for hackers to trade identity details, and have been for quite some time.

    That said, the story uncovers an identity theft fraud in which an 80-year-old woman has an account with fashion retailer H&M. It’s clearly a classic case of identity theft and arose from the theft of the woman’s passport.

    Growing
    There are different ways of measuring identity theft but in the final analysis it’s when somebody steals identifying information that belongs to you and uses it to carry it out some form of deception, whether its financial fraud or using your email address to aim malware at someone else.

    Please or Register to view links claiming that 600,000 people in the UK had their personal ID details stolen in 2014 and this information was being traded on the dark web with an average sale price of £19 for individual details. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) also Please or Register to view links there were approximately 5.1million incidents of fraud in the past 12 months – and claims many more go unreported.

    These stories tend to hit the mainstream press when fraud figures are released or a media outlet gets someone to dive into the Please or Register to view links and pull up details of ID details for sale. But the fact is that identity theft is ongoing and pervasive. In America it has almost reached Please or Register to view links.

    How to protect yourself
    It’s difficult to actually prevent identity theft but there are steps that you can take which will certainly reduce your chances of falling victim to crime.

    • Monitor bank statements regularly
    Keep a close eye on all your accounts, not only bank accounts but credit card and investment accounts. Go through each of the account transactions and make sure that you were the one to complete all of the transactions. Report any unfamiliar transactions as potential fraud. Even if the amount is small, say £5 it’s still important to report it. Identity thieves often test a card to make sure it works before they carry out a larger transaction.

    • Who has access to your personal information?
    Before you provide personal information to anyone, you need to ask how is the information stored. Who will have access to it? What’s the privacy policy? Why do you need this personal information? When you get a response, you can decide whether you’re comfortable providing your information.

    • Limit your social media posts
    As well as being aware of who you provide personal information to, you should also make sure you limit the amount of personal information you post on social media. It’s also a good idea to ensure your information is only available to ‘friends’ or people who you know in real life.

    • Identifying secure websites
    It goes without saying that you should never enter your personal details into a web site unless you know that it is secure. There are a couple of ways to do this:

    - Check that the URL begins with HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure). It means your information is being encrypted, or changed into coding so that only the intended recipient can open and access it

    - Look for a colour change in the address bar. If you’re using a web browser, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari, it will let you know that a website is secure by displaying a lock to the left of the URL and/or highlighting the URL in green.

    • Don’t give out personal information via email or on the phone
    If you ever receive an email telling you that your bank account or information has been breached and that you must click on a URL in the email to fix the issue, you should make sure you don’t. It’s likely a phishing scam designed to prise your personal details away from you.

    On the same note should you receive a call from someone claiming that they are from your bank, mobile phone provider, telephone company or any other organisation requesting any of your personal information, blow a raspberry and hang up the phone. The thing to remember is that no legitimate company is going to call you and ask for your personal details such as bank account number or passwords – they simply don’t operate like that.

    • Protect your devices
    Make sure your devices are protected whether desktop PC, smartphone, laptop or tablet. Internet security software will protect you from viruses, malware and spyware. Please or Register to view links software will protect you and alert you to any potential threat to your privacy or information stored on your computer. If you visit a suspicious website, the software will alert you before you are put at risk.

    • Shred your documents
    By shredding documents containing personal information, you’re guaranteeing that no one can steal any of your personal information if they dig through your rubbish. But it does happen. A cross-cut or micro-cut shredder is the best because completely destroy documents, making it impossible for anyone to put things back together.

    • Monitor your credit reports
    The final step to protecting yourself from identity theft is to monitor your credit. Regularly monitoring your credit situation helps reduce the risks of fraudulent activity and these services also provide you with access to your credit reports and scores so you can comb through your reports and make sure everything is accurate.

    At the end of the day there is no guarantee that you won’t fall victim to identity theft, but if you take steps to minimise the chances, the odds do fall in your favour.

    Important – digital identity protection
    The stories referenced above both refer to the sale of identity information on the dark web. You may have heard of the dark web before and the take down of web sites such as Please or Register to view links which sold a wide range of ïllêgâl drugs from class A narcotics like and cocaine to pharmaceutical drugs usually only available on prescription and just about everything in between too.

    However, the dark web is also notorious for the trade in personal ID information from wholesale stolen credit card number sales, to outfits that make cards along with logos and all the relevant information using stolen card details, to the sale of individual stolen credit cards. For some reason hâckêd PayPal accounts, along with instructions on how to withdraw money, seem to be particularly popular.

    The point is that a huge swathe of stolen identity information ends up on the dark web for sale. For criminals it’s the perfect location; it’s anonymous, relatively unpoliced, and populated by people who buy and sell a vast range of ïllêgâl goods.
     
    AnCHOr_chaIN likes this.
  2. anak ng pating di ko na alam if san ilalagay post ko :facepalm:
     
  3. Thank you for sharing. Kailangan malaman natin ang ganito. Iyong in-law ng partner ko, hindi nga techie pero grabe ginawa sa pamilya nila, lahat ng identity nila nagamit kaya mga insurance claim ng late father nila, nakuha ng babaeng iyon. What more kung techie pa s'ya. Napakahirap magtiwala ultimo sa kadugo o pamilya.
     
  4. AnCHOr_chaIN

    AnCHOr_chaIN Addict Established

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