Online consumers are often worried about identity fraud as they are often more prone to it as well. Identity theft existed long before the boom in the e-commerce sector, however, there were fewer actual cases of it actually happening. Most cases usually involved credit card fraud or phishing. However, since access to information online is becoming less and less difficult, what with increased exposure to social media and people turning to e-commerce trade more and more. Consequently, identity theft protection in such cases becomes the first line of defence for users as well as businesses.
Identity Theft Scams
There are easier ways for criminals to defraud businesses and individuals, including social engineering, credit card skimming, and free or open WiFi hotspots. Social engineering can take many forms, from people posing to be a representative from your bank or a trusted retailer to impersonating the same through e-mails and social media accounts. People may even go so far as to represent a government agency. However, all such scams are a guise to get personal information from users that will allow them access to their bank accounts and online funds.
Skimming devices are often installed by criminals in ATMs or credit card point of sales terminals. Once a credit card is swiped at the machine, they get access to the accounts details and hence its funds.
Free Wifi hotspots are used to lure unwitting people. Once a user uses the open network to access their bank or any other website containing their personal details, the scammer gets access to that information, thus enabling them to use it to their end.
Identity Theft Protection
Best identity theft protection can prove to be your first line of defence against cyber attacks and online fraud. One can protect themselves from identity theft by;
- Track what you share online – keeping a track of what information you share online can be prudent to your online safety. Do not give your personal details (SSN, passwords, credit card numbers etc.) to anyone claiming to be from your bank or a governmental body. Such entities never ask for your personal details over the phone or email.
- Verify your ID online – Many online businesses, banks and governments are opting for online identity verification services. Through biometric authentication, document and face verification or even a simple two-factor authentication process can enable businesses to keep their user data limited to legitimate customers, rather than fraudsters stealing from customers.
- Check your statements regularly – One always knows what they are buying online or otherwise. A quick glance at your credit card or bank statements can tell you if there has been any unusual activity.
- Protect your devices – keep your devices protected from malware and viruses by keeping your antivirus software up to date and scanning them for viruses every now an then.
Such preventive security measures can protect your identity online and secure your information from any threat of online fraud.
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