5 Identity Theft Risk Factors and Signs You Need to be Wary of
Since the arrival of internet and smartphones, we put our information on all sorts of digital devices. This is all very convenient but there is just one problem – hackers. Hackers have become extremely proficient nowadays and can sneak into almost every web-connected device if users aren’t careful. After taking control of their device, first thing these hackers take control of is users’ identity, and the worst part about it is that there’s just no way for them to know if someone else is using their identity until it’s too late or they suffer a heavy loss. There are certain high risk factors and clear indications of the crime. By recognizing these factors and signs, you have a greater chance of either avoiding the threat completely, or reacting to the situation swiftly to prevent any major loss. Let’s look at these risk factors and signs in detail.
Credit Card Information
The first and biggest sign that you will come across is your credit card information. You are well aware of almost every transaction your make via your credit card. However, if you receive a notification that your credit card was used to purchase something and it definitely wasn’t you, then it is a pretty clear sign that someone has stolen your identity and taking the liberty of billing your card for their purchases. You must immediately inquire about that transaction and its date, and if it doesn’t add up, get your bank to block your credit card.
Lost Important Papers
It’s very difficult to keep track of all the papers you’ve got, especially when they aren’t being used. If by chance, you or someone in your home throws away anything related to your personal identity, then it could get in the wrong hands. If you have lost any important papers and haven’t reported it to the right authorities, then your identity is simply waiting to be stolen.
If you notice that one of your passwords has been changed without your knowledge, then this is also a pretty big sign of your identity having been stolen already. As mentioned above, hackers have become proficient and can sneak into your devices in different ways. If your password is stored there, then they can access it easily. Knowing that, it is advised that you don’t save your passwords on your digital devices, and should continue to change them on regular basis.
Anti-Malware Can’t Always Help
If you have put all of your trust in anti-malware, then that could backfire. All software in this category needs some time to update and take down the most recent malware, and even then it doesn’t guarantee 100 percent results. Even if the update is a day or two late, a spyware could have entered your device already. This spyware would continue to give your personal information to a third-party, most likely the creator of that particular spyware, putting you at a huge risk. If you have put most of your information on your device and are relying on anti-malware to keep you safe, then the perpetrator may already have all the information to pose as you in digital space.
The terms of agreement are often quite long and we agree to them without paying too much attention. Some outlets use this carelessness to their advantage as they put in some conditions that allow them to take control of your personal data. Now this is a 50-50 bet – if the company is not reputable, then you’re more than likely being fraud with. If you have to sign such an agreement, then be sure to keep tabs on all of banking activities because if you aren’t careful, you and your money can be in a whole lot of danger.