Like millions of people worldwide, if you, too, like to do everything online, then it is essential that you know how to protect yourself from cyber crime. Irrespective of whether you shop online or play online or pay bills online, you have to enter valuable financial and personal information to get the job done and this information may be used by dishonest people or organization to steal money and identity and thus, pose a risk to you. Just watch the video from Buzzfeed for a few horror stories:
Though resorting to identity theft protection can be a good idea, yet they will be able to do no good unless you take precautions yourself. How can someone save a dying man if he isn’t willing to get out of the water? The same applies to you. These services will take several steps to protect and secure information, but if the breach happens to be you, then there is no hope for you. So, you have to know how to guard valuable information as well before you can ask the identity theft protection to create additional levels of security.
Here’s what you need to do to minimize the risk of identity theft:
1. If you often use a public computer for transactions, make sure that you delete all data permanently after each use. Never use the ‘Remember Me’ option while using public computers. This will save others from accessing your information. Also, try not to make transactions at public computers. Use your laptop or mobile.
2. Try not to use debit cards or other wallets while making payments. A credit card is a better choice as it comes with more legal protection.
3. Keep a track of all your account statements regularly, preferably every week. If you find any discrepancy, however small it may be, ask the bank for the reason. You will easily be able to know if someone else is using your money and prevent further damages.
4. Do not fall in for phishing or similar email scams asking you enter vital information. Never respond to emails stating that you have won a lottery or a prize worth thousands of dollars unless you have actually bought tickets to something like that. These are some of the most common ways to lure people into data theft schemes.
5. Always make it a point to study the credit reports sent in by your identity protection services to find any abnormalities. A thorough study of the report will help you find out if your credit score has suddenly gone down due to fraud credit payments and you can immediately look into the matter.
6. Do not just throw away bills, bank or credit statements, etc. into the waste bin. They may fall into dishonest hands and they may use the available information to impersonate you. Make sure never to disclose important information to people/websites that you feel aren’t trustworthy.
To prevent cyber crime and protect yourself, it is important that you not only hire identity theft protection services, but also be on alert yourself. More id protection tips and service reviews you’ll find at IdentityTheftStop. And remember: never do anything that may leave you exposed in the cyber world.