One of the things that were made simple by Internet technologies is information sharing. Through the Internet, people from all around the globe are now able to share and exchange data in a mere click of a button. Despite geographic restrictions, the technology allows us to access other users’ information without concrete limitations. This has allowed criminals to perform illegal data access over the years. Although several legislations have been passed to strengthen national network defense against illegal data breach, the World Wide Web remains flawed. Hence, people’s increased activity on the Internet puts them to greater risks. Merely telling people to control their own internet activity may not really work. Hence, the following are five practical ways on how to practice effective identity theft protection on one’s own.
Protecting Yourself From Identity Fraud
Before learning of how to protect yourself from identity theft, it is best to understand first how id theft can happen. First of all, you need to be aware that the Internet allows seamless access to your personal information if you are not careful enough. A thief may act like a representative from a government agency and ask you for some confidential information. It is crucial to understand that these thieves can improvise and device really persuasive tactics on how to get to your information electronically. Thieves nowadays would make use of computer viruses, phishing attacks, specialized skimming devices and deceiving ads to persuade you. Most of them however, would prefer doing the deed online since it allows anonymity.
Hence, being attentive and vigilant on questionable actions and inquiries is always the first step to identity theft prevention. After that, here are five practical ways that will help you protect yourself from identity theft: Get a back-up hard drive for your files –It is not safe to store all your files in one location only. Once a virus attacks your system, everything in your main storage will get infected. You become highly susceptible to fraudulent attacks when this happens.
Always back up your file no matter where you keep them – Regardless if you think your email storage is safer, it is always better to keep a back-up somewhere else. Electronic copies are not indestructible. They could get damaged too, or worse, hacked.
Be wary and careful in emailing – Malwares are often sent as email attachments. Always be skeptical about weird and questionable attachments. You will also want to be inquisitive of strangers who email you. You would not want to simply give them your social security number just because they tell you that you won something, which requires identity verification.
User error can also be detrimental – Be wary of your own errors too. Always be attentive of what you send and upload online. Click with caution, as there can be no such thing as an accidentally sent social security number to a stranger who is obviously pretending as an IRS employee.
Sometimes, it still pays to keep hard copies – Especially with official documents; it helps to have a printed back up, which should be stored in a secured place (Marshall).
There may be a lot of data protection programs out there. However, being able to practice identity theft prevention on your own assures you that you cannot be victimized due to your own actions. Identity theft is already a serious concern today. We cannot rely on technology without being cautious about our information’s security. As responsible internet users, it is our obligation to practice effective identity theft prevention on our own.