September 3rd, 2018

12 Steps to protect yourself from identity theft

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Do you spend majority of your time browsing through your smartphone? Online shopping or gaming is your passion? How many times have you shared your personal information without thinking about identity theft?

In this digital era, security breaches are common in which the personal identity of a person is compromised. The more you get involved with different companies, the risks your identity faces go on and on. More than 9 million Americans are affected per year by this crime. Last year, Verizon, Weebly, the Democratic National Committee and many others have reported a plethora of compromised customer information. However, they have nothing to do with the internet or lax computer or network security. The reasons can be infinite, but to protect your personal information is in your hands. So, what can you do to stop it completely?

The bad news is you cannot protect yourself completely from identity theft, but the good news is you can easily negate the risk by implementing a few simple tips.

1.  Beware of shoulder surfing!

Whether you are using the ATM, a portable device or shopping online, keep your eyes open for shoulder-surfers to ensure your PIN or password is safe with you. While pressing the keys, ensure you hide the passwords from the persons over the billing counter too; even they can make a note of the keys.

2.  Fight phishing

You must be receiving calls from the banks, stores or government agencies on a daily basis. Hackers take benefit of such calls and phish the victims by pretending to be representatives from the banks or government agencies. Do not respond to any request to verify your account or password over the call, through emails or regular mails. Legitimate companies do not request personal information in such a way.

3.  Mind your garbage

Throwing out bills, the credit card statement, receipts, solicitations and other documents that contain private financial information in the trash bins can be dangerous. Giving away personal information to strangers can bring a lot of troubles. Tear up or shred all the papers before disposing of them.

4.  Click with caution

Restricting yourself from the fun of online shopping is not a solution. However, whenever you shop online, do it cautiously. Before entering your credit card number or personal information, you should read the privacy policy. If the company doesn’t have a privacy policy, opt out from buying anything from that site. Enter your personal information on websites with “https” and padlock symbol in the address bar. These signs ensure that your information is encrypted.

5.  Check your credit reports every year

Checking your credit reports is one of the best ways to prevent identity theft. Earlier it was a costly affair, but now there are few credit reporting agencies that provide free credit reports to the consumers once per year. Just request for a free credit report to any of the agencies and analyze it minutely. Check for accuracy of the information, any unknown accounts added or any other suspicious entries or activity.

6.  Shield your computers and smartphones

Steer clear of the virus, spyware, malware, etc. with the help of antivirus software and PC cleaners. You can download Virus Vanish or System Care Pro to protect your privacy from cyber frauds. These are our flagship products and we offer 7 days free trial for both the tools.  Always use strong passwords to avoid any forgery. Random combinations of letters, numbers and special characters, can protect your accounts. Moreover, avoid clicking on links in pop-up windows or in spam –email.

7.  Use social media sensibly

Whatever you post online can be accessed by anyone. Monitor your social media security settings and limit the access to your page to a small number of people. An identity thief can use all the information on your social media account to unlock your personal accounts. Adding hashtags can public your pictures. Think before you hashtag your pictures.

8.  Act smart while using public Wi-Fi

What can be better than access to free Wi-Fi? Though free Wi-Fi is cool enough, but be careful so you don’t fall prey to web criminals. When you are using public Wi-Fi, don’t share your personal information with anyone. Avoid online shopping too. Limit your usage to watching videos, reading news or just browsing sites.

9.  Check your statements every month

Looking forward to credit card statements can be a daunting task, but it can save you from phishing. Checking your credit statement every month makes you aware of its arrival on due time, which can alert you about the delay from the bank or a theft. You can also look for the entries on the statement and match up with your records to easily address any suspicious activity.

10.  Keep your social security number safe

Don’t carry your social security card everywhere. The social security number is important and keeping it safe can help you avoid any scam. Don’t write the number anywhere. Pay attention to who’s around whenever you have to give your number to anyone. You should never use this number as any part of your username or password too. In addition to it, do not share the number over the telephone or in response to spam emails.

11.  Signing up with a tech support service

Rather than doing it all by yourself, you can always trust the tech support service providers. They are well aware of the minds of the hackers and keep your computers and smartphones safe from them. They can detect a virus early. The sooner you detect a problem, the sooner you can fix it. The technicians are extra vigilant and can keep you alert. DigitalBulls has been ranked as one of the top ranked online technical support companies in United States and offers for 4 different channels to reach out to them to make it more convenient when you need an urgent help.

12.  Protect your purse or wallet from theft

Your purse or wallet can reveal all your personal information to the thief. Losing it means, losing not only your money but all your information, credit cards and bills. So, protect your purse or wallet all the times. Use zipped or closed bags so that no one can easily reach it. Do not leave them behind in your car, shop or at anyone’s house.

In today’s world, it’s easy for your information to end up in wrong hands despite your best efforts. Taking preventive measures can lower the risk and can help you keep your identity secure.


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