Most people today use the Internet for one reason or another. From shopping and banking to emails and web browsing, there is a wealth of information and opportunity that can be found on the World Wide Web, but it is also a home for hackers and thieves that are just lurking in the shadows in order to wait for the right time to strike. Becoming a victim of identity theft can happen with no warning – an attack on your privacy can come from anywhere at any time… so it’s important to asses your personal risk and decide whether or not you’re likely to become a victim.
Do you overshare?
Many victims of identity theft are guilty of oversharing and being careless. This could happen when they let others use their accounts, tell people passwords, give people an opportunity to access their information by using public devices, or even throw away mail without taking precautions to keep it from being compromised. Answering questions over the phone, clicking on links in email, or just having a lot of different accounts with similar log in information could all be a way for people to access your information, so it’s important to limit the amount that you put out there – and who you put it out there to.
Are you good at keeping up with changes?
Don’t overestimate the usefulness of a difficult to guess password. Those helpful hints from different websites are meant to protect you, even if they seem like they’re a pain to deal with. Not only will making a password difficult to guess help keep thieves at bay, you should also change these passwords often. Not only will this help to keep things moving, but it can throw thieves that have found a way to access your information for a loop – they’ll go to use the information that they initially figured out, and then be thwarted because you changed things. Even though this cannot change the fact that there was an initial security breach, it can keep them from continuing.
Do you have some form of identity theft protection?
This can be the difference between catching a thief and letting them have free reign within your account. These services are designed and distributed in order to help people from across the world protect their information in a simple and streamlined manner. Identity theft protection services come in many different forms, but two of the most powerful and well known are identity and credit monitoring. Both of these can be used to monitor personal and private information, however they branch off in different directions and watch over different kinds of information. For some people, having a better grasp on financial security is imperative while others feel as if they will have more control by keeping their identity tightly locked down. Even though these monitors are effective in catching cases of identity theft, they cannot and will not prevent them from happening in the first place – tactics used by the thieves are just too fluid.