🔒Hey there, cyber adventurers!
We all know what identity theft is. Remember those proxies from your college days? I am sure you got the picture now. Though identity theft to give a proxy for attendance seems like a favour more than a theft. But the thrill of it can turn into a nightmare. Imagine one of your classmates sending an offensive text in the official class group with an account under your name. Doesn’t seem like a favour now, does it? But this happens at a bigger scale than a classroom and more often than you would think.
Online identity theft is an illegal activity of stealing someone’s identity and then carrying out activities under their identity. For example someone creates a Facebook account by your name and your profile picture. Now it can get tricky to find out which one of the two accounts is the real one.
According to a report by NortonLifeLock, 45% of the surveyed Indians reported being the victim of identity theft. Out of which 14% were impacted in the past year alone. Extrapolating this sampled data, 27 million Indians experienced identity theft in the past year. But don’t worry. We got your back. In this article we will suggest you 5 ways to protect your online identity to avoid identity theft in the future.
1. Create strong passwords
You would be doing a big favour to the hackers by creating a weak password especially if you use the same password in multiple sites. The easiest way to steal someone’s identity is by gaining access to their accounts. Along with your identity, hackers can steal your financial records, contacts and confidential information about the organisations you are associated with.
So create a strong password of 10 characters or more containing an uppercase letter, a lowercase letter and a special character. This will act as a strong preliminary line of defence. To tighten the security, add two-factor verification wherever possible.
2. Install a 360 cybersecurity software
Instead of getting just antivirus software, try to use a security software which protects your devices and accounts in all respects. Such a software will cover features like:
a. Checking your device for any malwares.
b. Blocking any harmful site redirections and ads.
c. Directing suspicious emails to the spam folder.
d. Prevent you from visiting unprotected websites.
e. Deny access to any unwanted software or application download.
f. Keep a track on any unauthorised log in of your social media accounts.
It may be difficult to find such a software but you can always checkout our cybersecurity software at ABHEDIT. We offer a wide range of services including data governance, risk advisory, governance and compliance services and corporate trainings.
3. Beware of the cookies. The online ones!
Cookies are the information about your browsing preference that websites store to offer you a better experience when you visit their site next time. Though most of the websites ask for permission on whether you accept using cookies but what people don’t know about is the type of cookies being used. Cookies can be 1st party, 2nd party or 3rd party cookies. In 1st party cookies, the website owners use the data for themselves. In 2nd party cookies, your online data is shared with another business but it is known who the buyer is. But in case of 3rd party cookies, your online data is shared with unknown buyers. These buyers can misuse your data and use it against you. So read the terms and conditions about cookies carefully.
4. Avoid using public Wi Fi
Public Wi-Fi’s are a complete package of problems. Some of the risks include but are not limited to malwares, viruses, worms, unencrypted connections, session hijacking, fake system updates, etc. Anyone of these can be used to sneak into your device and then access your personal information. So try to use a protected or private network and avoid using public Wi-Fi.
5. Do not save your identity documents on cloud or on drive
Anything stored online has a possibility of being hacked. With news of storage service providers themselves stealing user’s data, it is not the best option to store your data online. Scanned documents can be photo shopped and used for carrying out illegal activities. Instead, store personal information files on an external storage device which has no internet access like a USB or a hard drive.
YOU DESERVE THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY
It is not your fault that someone is trying to steal your data. But you can be prepared to avoid any potential identity theft. The list of methods above is not exhaustive, so feel free to add your suggestions in the comment section below.
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