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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, at that location are many things yous privy do to protect yourself from online fraud every bit well as identity theft.

What is Identity Theft equally good every bit Identity Fraud?

According to the US Department of Justice, “Identity theft inwards summation to identity fraud are cost used to refer to all types of criminal offense inward which someone wrongfully obtains likewise uses another mortal’s personal info inward or thus way 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 bespeak yous to render them amongst your problem concern relationship or other personal information, yous’ve inward all probability been targeted for online fraud.

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


Those suspicious emails you commencement that order yous you’ve won a competition, or that the company needs to verify personal information, or that a widow wants to ship y'all a meg dollars, are all examples of phishing – an endeavour to set out yous to percentage your personal info similar usernames, passwords, too depository financial establishment or credit carte line human relationship numbers. Many of these phishing emails likewise comprise links that, if clicked, tin john set a virus on your computing machine to hunt for your sensitive info also ship it without your noesis.


Skimming is the theft of your credit or debit carte information at the fourth dimension yous create a legitimate transaction. Skim artists get downwards temporary jobs at restaurants, gas stations too hotels for the purpose of scanning the credit as well as debit cards of unsuspecting customers using little-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 simply get inwards your info online to brand purchases.

Un-Secure Internet Connections

If you lot stimulate got an unsecure wireless internet connector at domicile enterprise, hackers inward your neighborhood could utilization your cyberspace connexion 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 depository financial institution accounts or ready online purchases, hackers can monitor your transactions besides capture your personal data.

Data Breaches

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

Data breaches frequently occur yesteryear someone hacking into a corporate network to steal sensitive data. But they tin lavatory as skillful occur past times authorized or unauthorized employees who idea or steal the information.


Smartphone users are 33% more than than likely to exist victims of identity fraud according to Javelin Strategy Research due to “careless consumer usage.” How? We forget that when we construct a telephone call upwards over a prison theater cellular phone telephone, or shipping a text or email, someone else may be listening or may be able to access that information. Also, malicious smartphone apps tin john steal sensitive information that is stored on your smartphone in addition to shipping it to identity thieves without your knowledge.

sixteen Ways to Prevent Identity Fraud

While no 1 tin tin can forbid all identity theft together with fraud, at that spot is a lot yous bathroom practice to protect your identity together with private information.

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

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

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

  4. Secure your wireless home network (Wi-Fi) past 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,” drive got misspellings or undertaking wretched 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 post service, to a tertiary political party site.

  7. Delete suspicious email from your calculator completely equally well as be 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 system scan feature.

  9. If yous’re not for certain if an electronic post is legitimate or non, contact the fellowship straight to verify, or encounter their web page yesteryear typing inward their spider web address (instead of clicking the link provided inwards the e-post).

  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 call upwardly them all.

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

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

  13. Use a debit carte du jour every bit a credit carte as good every bit thus yous don’t create got to become inward the pin number.

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

  15. Protect your smart phone by adding a password lock, enrolling inwards a data wiping program that tin endure accessed from a calculator if you lot lose your telephone, likewise downloading apps solely from trusted app stores.

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

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

Don’t think y'all’re at peril for identity theft or fraud? Think over in i lawsuit again. My wife every bit well I stimulate got been victims several times over the endure 3 years:

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

  • My corporate credit carte number was stolen during the middle of an eight-twenty-iv hours concern trip. The credit card society 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, as good as other private information were stored on those computers.

  • My married woman’s debit carte du jour number was stolen 2 months agone. Again, it was likely due to a skimmer.

Here are iii things y'all should do correct away if yous think yous are a victim of identity theft or fraud:

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

  2. If your financial accounts have agree been compromised, straight off contact your depository financial establishment or debit/credit card issuer to written report the misuse equally well equally indicate 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 position 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 yesteryear the society that had been breached.

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

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