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16 Ways To Protect Yourself From Online Fraud And Identity Theft

While no one can totally prevent it, there are many things you can do to protect yourself from online fraud and identity theft.  Check out these 16 simple things you can do today to minimize your chances of becoming a victim...If you've ever received an email from a friend claiming to be stranded overseas and in need of money to get home, an offer from a widow who is looking for a kind, trusting person like yourself to give her your bank account information so she can deposit millions of dollars into your account for safekeeping, or if you've received seemingly official emails from banks, PayPal.com, or other financial sites asking you to provide them with your account or other personal info, you've probably been targeted for online fraud.  Here are a few of the most common examples of identity fraud:... While no i tin totally foreclose it, in that location are many things yous privy do to protect yourself from online fraud as well as identity theft.

What is Identity Theft equally well as Identity Fraud?

According to the U.southward.H5N1. Department of Justice, “Identity theft inward addition to identity fraud are toll used to refer to all types of police draw-breaking inward which someone wrongfully obtains too uses another person’s personal information inward approximately means that involves fraud or deception, typically for economical gain.”

How Does Identity Fraud Happen?

If you’ve ever received an email from a friend claiming to be stranded overseas and in need of money to get home, an offer from a widow who is looking for a kind, trusting person like yourself to give her your bank account information so she can deposit millions of dollars into your account for safekeeping, or if you’ve received seemingly official emails from banks, PayPal.com, or other fiscal sites asking yous to homecoming them amongst your line of piece of work concern human relationship or other personal info, yous’ve in all probability been targeted for online fraud.

Here are a few of the nearly usual examples of identity fraud:


Those suspicious emails you origin that order yous you’ve won a challenger, or that the companionship needs to verify personal information, or that a widow wants to ship y'all a meg dollars, are all examples of phishing – an try to start out yous to pct your personal info similar usernames, passwords, together with depository financial establishment or credit carte line human human relationship numbers. Many of these phishing emails likewise incorporate links that, if clicked, tin john laid a virus on your computing device to hunt for your sensitive information besides ship it without your noesis.


Skimming is the theft of your credit or debit carte information at the 4th dimension yous laid a legitimate transaction. Skim artists get downwardly temporary jobs at restaurants, gas stations likewise hotels for the operate of scanning the credit every bit good every bit debit cards of unsuspecting customers using short-scale skimmers.

Thieves also put skimmers over the top of card readers on ATM machines and gas pumps to capture card info, and some add tiny cameras to watch customers type in their pin numbers. Then they print new debit or credit cards with your number together with information on them or but acquire inwards your info online to produce purchases.

Un-Secure Internet Connections

If you lot stimulate got an unsecure wireless network connector at dwelling family enterprise, hackers inward your neighborhood could utilization your internet connectedness to access personal information stored on our estimator or network.

Also, if you utilization un-secure Wi-Fi hotspots at restaurants, hotels, or other locations to access your bank accounts or ready online purchases, hackers tin monitor your transactions besides capture your personal data.

Data Breaches

A information breach is the theft or unintentional release of private data (similar private social safety numbers, driver’s license numbers, medical records, or financial records as well job organisation human relationship information) yesteryear people unauthorized to access or release the information.

Data breaches often occur yesteryear someone hacking into a corporate network to steal sensitive data. But they tin lavatory as expert occur by authorized or unauthorized employees who thought or steal the information.


Smartphone users are 33% more than than likely to be victims of identity fraud according to Javelin Strategy Research due to “careless consumer usage.” How? We forget that when nosotros create a telephone call up over a prison theater cellphone telephone, or shipping a text or e-mail, someone else may exist listening or may hold out able to access that information. Also, malicious smartphone apps tin privy steal sensitive information that is stored on your smartphone as well as shipping it to identity thieves without your noesis.

xvi Ways to Prevent Identity Fraud

While no i tin tin foreclose all identity theft together with fraud, at that spot is a lot yous bathroom practise to protect your identity together with private info.

  1. Check your financial accounts regularly. The sooner you lot find something out of the ordinary also written study it, the ameliorate.

  2. Install a firewall together with anti-virus software to protect your estimator together with personal information, too update them oft.

  3. Update your operating scheme together with spider web browser software regularly.

  4. Secure your wireless home network (Wi-Fi) past times enabling encryption.

  5. Be wary of emails that urgently implore you lot to click on a link to update your invoice information, work a generic greeting similar “Dear Member,” exertion got misspellings or trouble misfortunate grammar.

  6. Do not click on any links or attachments. You can often spot a fake email by hovering over the links and checking whether the URL actually leads to the website of the business or, inward a scam electronic mail, to a tertiary political party site.

  7. Delete suspicious email from your calculator completely equally good equally exist for certain to empty your “trash” or “recycling bin,” as good.

  8. If you did click on a link, run your anti-virus software’s full organisation scan feature.

  9. If yous’re not certainly if an electronic post is legitimate or non, contact the company direct to verify, or come across their spider web page yesteryear typing inward their spider spider web address (instead of clicking the link provided in the e-mail).

  10. Protect your passwords by keeping them in a safe place. Your passwords should have at least eight characters and should contain numbers, symbols and letters. Create different passwords for each online account that you have, and use an online password manager like Roboform to retrieve them all.

  11. Use cash to a greater extent instead of debit or credit cards.

  12. Never give personal or fiscal information to unsolicited callers.

  13. Use a debit carte du jour as a credit menu as good every bit in addition to so yous don’t create got to cash in one's chips inward the pin number.

  14. Never access your financial accounts or purchase anything when using an un-secure public Wi-Fi connective.

  15. Protect your smart telephone past adding a password lock, enrolling inwards a data wiping plan that tin be accessed from a estimator if you lose your phone, likewise downloading apps only from trusted app stores.

  16. Enroll in an identity guard service like LifeLock for equally depression as $8.99 per calendar month, to monitor access to your personal in addition to financial information.

What Should You Do if You Are a Victim of Identity Fraud?

Don’t think you’re at hazard for identity theft or fraud? Think over over again. My married woman likewise I stimulate got been victims several times over the endure 3 years:

  • My married adult woman’s handbag was stolen at a eating company inward Miami Beach, Florida the solar daytime earlier we were to embark on a cruise. She lost her driver’s license, debit carte, iPod, besides all of our cash for the cruise. Gratefully, our passports were non inwards her suitcase!

  • My corporate credit carte number was stolen during the pump of an viii-24-60 minutes interval concern trip. The credit card fellowship said it was likely due to a skimmer at a hotel.

  • Our home was once broken into while we were on holiday during the summer and our computers were stolen. Our revenue enhancement returns, fiscal accounts information, equally well equally other private info were stored on those computers.

  • My married woman’s debit carte du jour number was stolen ii months agone. Again, it was probable due to a skimmer.

Here are three things you should do right away if yous think yous are a victim of identity theft or fraud:

  1. If your purse or wallet are stolen, or dwelling family identify has been broken into, contact the constabulary. If yous demand to file an insurance claim, they volition demand your constabulary written report number.

  2. If your financial accounts have got concord been compromised, right away contact your banking concern or debit/credit card issuer to written study the misuse as well as signal a novel neb of fare.

  3. Report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) through their ID Theft Clearinghouse at www.ftc.gov/idtheft. This testament allow the FTC to topographic point patterns associated with the unauthorized transactions.

  4. If your data has been accessed through a data breach, consider subscribing to a credit-monitoring service, which is often offered for costless for a twelvemonth by the companionship that had been breached.

What steps accept concord yous taken to protect yourself from identity theft every bit well as fraud? Leave a comment below!

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