Avoiding Identity Theft Online and Being Kept Safe

Avoiding Identity Theft Online and Being Kept Safe
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Avoiding Identity Theft Online and Being Kept Safe

If you often receive e mails or messages that seem like blackmails and the person who sends them seems to know you really well, do not try to find who he is; you have probably been a victim of identity theft online. If you search on the web, you will definitely find people who are facing the same problem as yours.

Online safety
Online safety

The first time when this phenomenon appeared happened pretty sure when Internet came into our lives. In fact, stealing a person’s identity can also be the case in actual life; however, things in this case can be made right much easier than when online theft occurs.If you take a moment to think, you will find out that keeping your identity in your pocket or inside a wallet or a handbag is a way for you to protect your personal information.

But what happens when your online identity is stolen from a third party and when he performs purchases or he even uses your social media profile? Things can turn really bad when something like that happens, but there are many ways that you can use in order to be fully protected against identity theft online.

What to Do with Untrusted Emails and Attachments

Nowadays, everyone knows that when an email comes from an untrusted source, it is sure that it must never be opened. In fact, most of the times it automatically goes to the spam files. On the other hand, in case you expect an email from someone that is not part of your contacts but you are not sure about it, there is a tested way that you can use.
Do not wonder which this way is, because it is nothing else than scanning before you download. If you do not do so, it is sure that if it contains a virus it is possible to enter your personal information and steal all of your data. Apart from this way, you could also spend some time checking the sender’s address.

Surf the Web with Safety

It is not unnecessary to mention that when you decide to surf the web, you should do it wisely and when someone says wisely, he means that you must not enter any web site that you find, because a virus might be hiding there. When a virus hides you know that the end will be awful. So, every time you want to browse yourself to a web site, it is better to type https before the address that you want to visit.

Forms and Strong Passwords

If it happens to perform a purchase on the web or even if you need to fill a form online, you need to be really careful with it. You need to pay special attention to the date that you write and you need to be extra careful to where you give them to. Sometimes, it is crucial, in order to become a member of a site or if you want to perform a purchase, to register there. In some cases you may find it really boring to come up with a password, but you need to know that the stronger your password is, the more difficult it is for someone to steal any kind of personal information of yours. So, make an effort to create a password that is strong and that is not possible for someone to guess.


If you are unemployed and/or you are looking for a job online, you must not give or publish your CV anywhere without giving it the appropriate thought. Before you publish your CV somewhere, be sure that you have read the terms, the conditions and the privacy policies and if they seem trustworthy put your CV there.

About Anti-Virus

Last but not least, it is really crucial for you to use anti-virus for your computer. Download an anti-virus that is trusted or buy one, but be sure that you are going to update it often. It is certainly the safest way to be protected from viruses and of course to protect your personal data, photos, videos or files from anyone
German security institute AV-Test found that in 2010 there were 49m new strains of malware, meaning that anti-virus software manufacturers are engaged in constant game of “whack-a-mole”. Sometimes their reaction times are slow – US security firm Imperva tested 40 anti-virus packages and found that the initial detection rate of a new virus was only 5%. Much like flu viruses and vaccine design, it takes the software designers a while to catch up with the hackers. Last year AV-Test published the results of a 22-month study of 27 different anti-virus suites and top-scoring packages were Bitdefender, Kaspersky and F-Secure. Meanwhile, security expert Brian Krebs published the results of a study of 42 packages which showed on average a 25% detection rate of malware – so they are not the entire answer, just a useful part of it.

Think before you tweet and how you share information

Again, the principal risk is ID fraud. Trawling for personal details is the modern day equivalent of “dumpster-diving”, in which strong-stomached thieves would trawl through bins searching for personal documents, says Symantec’s John. “Many of the same people who have learned to shred documents like bank statements will happily post the same information on social media. Once that information is out there, you don’t necessarily have control of how other people use it.” She suggests a basic rule: “If you aren’t willing to stand at Hyde Park Corner and say it, don’t put it on social media.”

Only shop online on secure sites

Before entering your card details, always ensure that the locked padlock or unbroken key symbol is showing in your browser, cautions industry advisory body Financial Fraud Action UK. Additionally the beginning of the online retailer’s internet address will change from “http” to “https” to indicate a connection is secure. Be wary of sites that change back to http once you’ve logged on.

Ignore pop-ups

Pop-ups can contain malicious software which can trick a user into verifying something. “[But if and when you do], a download will be performed in the background, which will install malware,” says Sidaway. “This is known as a drive-by download. Always ignore pop-ups offering things like site surveys on e-commerce sites, as they are sometimes where the malcode is.”

something. “[But if and when you do], a download will be performed in the background, which will install malware,” says Sidaway. “This is known as a drive-by download. Always ignore pop-ups offering things like site surveys on e-commerce sites, as they are sometimes where the malcode is.”

Be Aware about public Wi-Fi

Most Wi-Fi hotspots do not encrypt information and once a piece of data leaves your device headed for a web destination, it is “in the clear” as it transfers through the air on the wireless network, says Symantec’s Sian John. “That means any ‘packet sniffer’ [a program which can intercept data] or malicious individual who is sitting in a public destination with a piece of software that searches for data being transferred on a Wi-Fi network can intercept your unencrypted data. If you choose to bank online on public Wi-Fi, that’s very sensitive data you are transferring. We advise either using encryption [software], or only using public Wi-Fi for data which you’re happy to be public – and that shouldn’t include social network passwords.”

because if an email appears in your shopping account purporting to come from your bank, for example, you’ll immediately know it’s a fake.

Macs are as vulnerable as PCs

Make no mistake, your shiny new MacBook Air can be attacked too. It’s true that Macs used to be less of a target, simply because criminals used to go after the largest number of users – ie Windows – but this is changing. “Apple and Microsoft have both added a number of security features which have significantly increased the effectiveness of security on their software,” says Sidaway, “but determined attackers are still able to find new ways to exploit users on almost any platform.”

Don’t store your card details on websites

Other side of caution when asked if you want to store your credit card details for future use. Mass data security breaches (where credit card details are stolen en masse) aren’t common, but why take the risk? The extra 90 seconds it takes to key in your details each time is a small price to pay.

Add a DNS service to protect other devices

A DNS or domain name system service converts a web address (a series of letters) into a machine-readable IP address (a series of numbers). You’re probably using your ISP’s DNS service by default, but you can opt to subscribe to a service such as OpenDNS or Norton ConnectSafe, which redirect you if you attempt to access a malicious site, says Sian John. “This is helpful for providing some security (and parental control) across all the devices in your home including tablets, TVs and games consoles that do not support security software. But they shouldn’t be relied upon as the only line of defence, as they can easily be bypassed.”

Lock your phone and tablet devices

Keep it locked, just as you would your front door. Keying in a password or code 40-plus times a day might seem like a hassle but, says Lookout’s Derek Halliday, “It’s your first line of defence.” Next-generation devices, however, are set to employ fingerprint scanning technology as additional security.

“It’s your first line of defence.” Next-generation devices, however, are set to employ fingerprint scanning technology as additional security.

Be careful on auction sites

On these sites in particular, says Symantec’s Sian John, exercise vigilance. “Check the seller feedback and if a deal looks too good then it may well be,” she says. “Keep your online payment accounts secure by regularly changing your passwords, checking the bank account to which it is linked and consider having a separate bank account or credit card for use on them, to limit any potential fraud still further.”


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