How Businesses and Individuals can Protect their Identity On and Offline

Did you know that over 9 millions of Americans are victims of identity theft each year? It is possible to protect yourself from this crime by taking the right measures to keep your identity safe.

These few tips will help you keep your identity theft and avoid becoming a victim of identity theft:

1. Never share personal information on social media.

Avoid sharing information that could be used by hackers to steal your identity. Do not share information such as your birthday, phone number, your address or the school your children attend. Do not add people you do not know on social media and do not share any personal details in the ‘About Me’ section on Facebook. Facebook recently released a new tool called Graph Search in the UK and this tool makes it easy to find profiles in function of the pages they have liked, which is why you should avoid liking pages that could reveal anything personal about you.

2. Adjust privacy settings on social media.

If you use Facebook, change your privacy settings to ‘Friends Only’ to hide content from strangers. Privacy settings are often updated on Facebook and you should check them with each update to make sure your profile is still private.

3. Keep your online passwords safe.

If you are like most Internet users, you probably use passwords that you can easily remember and might use the same password for different sites. However, a password that is easy to remember is also easy to crack. Visit the Ask The Geek’s password meter to see how safe your current passwords are.

4. Use more than one password.

You need to use unique passwords for all your online account. If a hacker finds the password you use for everything, they will gain access to all your private information. Using identity theft protection software can really help cut chances and really are of huge benefit.

5. Keep your phone safe.

You can make your phone safer by turning off the GPS location settings so that no one can track your whereabouts.

6. Be careful with ‘phishing’ emails.

Spammers are creating more sophisticated emails to steal information. You should never share usernames, passwords and other personal information via email. Your bank, credit card provider or utility providers will never ask for this kind of information over email. If you receive a suspicious email, contact the company that sent it to confirm that the email actually came from them. If you are sure that an email is a ‘phishing’ scam, report it and delete it. Here are some other great tips.

7. Make your communications networks safe.

Your Wi-Fi should be protected with a password so that local hackers cannot gain access to it and use your connection for malicious activities.

8. Always look for the https://

This is especially important when you shop online or submit personal information. Make sure the URL of the website you are using starts with https and not with http. Do not use a site with a URL starting with http to share information since this site isn’t secure.

9. Look at your bank statements.

You can tell that your identity has been stolen if unfamiliar transactions appear in your bank statements. You do not have to keep track of every purchase and cross check your bank statements. All you have to do is look for anything unusual.

10. Monitor your mail.

Keep an eye on the mail you receive. If you receive a lot of financial offers such as pre-approved cards, someone else might be applying for these cards.

StarterPad Staff

One of the lovely StarterPad staff members has toiled away into the wee hours of the night to write this amazing piece of literature :)