Keeping Your Personal Identity and Finances Safe in the Digital Era
The digital era has shaped the modern world and is a key driver in most of our daily activities. Whether we’re casually browsing the web for cute cartoons or are doing some banking, keep in mind that there are those with ill-intentions just waiting for us to slip up.
Your personal information such as your social security number, driver’s license, and even phone numbers can be stolen. This is called identity theft.
So what happens to this identity? Well, your data could end up on the dark web. According to Identity Guard, it’s common to find personal identifiable information (PII) for sale, and they can be valued for as low as $1-$8. This is why dark web monitoring is becoming an increasingly valued service.
When your identity is used by someone else to impersonate you, it’s called identity fraud. This is worrying, but you can take proactive measures. In this article, we’ll take a look at how you can keep your personal identity and finances safe in the era of the Internet.
Be Wary of Emails
Many attackers use emails and fake websites as a way to obtain personal data, and this can be a huge security breach for companies as well. This is called phishing.
The attacker may impersonate a company you trust. You wouldn’t notice this at first glance since the email could look professionally done. These emails usually contain a link that directs you to a landing page that looks official enough for you to trust, and when you fill in the details they want, you’ve already become a victim of identity theft.
This can also be done in the form of attachments. When you download it, you’re in fact installing a trojan.
If you have no business with a company, it’s best practice to ignore it. If you do click the link, press the search bar. Secure websites should always start with “https://”.
Set Alerts On Your Bank Cards
If you haven’t already, be sure to ask your financial institutions to notify you when your cards have been used. Some people don’t realize that their credit card details have been stolen, and when they receive the monthly statement, they’re in thousands of dollars worth of debt for items they never bought.
If you detect an unauthorized payment or purchase, make sure you immediately call your bank and request that they freeze your account.
Use Different Passwords and Change Them Frequently
Attackers are hoping that you use the same password for all your accounts. The best way to prevent them hacking into everything you have registered with online is by using different passwords.
The password you use for your email should be different than the ones you use for social media. This is especially true for your online banking accounts.
Even if your passwords are random and super complicated, be sure to change them frequently. The best is to do it every 30 days, but realistically speaking it’s a hassle for most people. So try to do so every 60 to 90 days.