In today’s cyber world, where most of your personal information is online, it’s easy for fraudsters to steal and misuse it. Here’s a look at the way they can trick you and what you can do to protect yourself.
How your identity can be stolen?
As the name suggests, it’s simply someone looking over your shoulder or using a mobile phone to click a photo while you are using your credit card, keying in your PIN at an ATM, filling up important information in a form or cheque, or just typing your password.
WIRELESS IDENTITY THEFT
Also known as RFID (radio frequency identification) theft, it steals the personal information that is stored on cards with RF chips embedded in them, such as your office ID tags.
A domain is hijacked by a criminal, who then steals the data of any user who accesses the website.
It stands for malicious software and includes anything that can be used to gain access to your PC and steal data from it. This could be through spyware, keyloggers, Trojan horse, adware, worm or virus. It disguises itself as something innocuous and stays hidden in your PC.
An e-mail from a seemingly reliable and known source will direct you to a phony website that looks legitimate. It will ask you to input personal and financial data to access the site, and then steal that information.
A fraudster pretends to call up from your bank or service provider claiming to need your personal details because they are upgrading you or updating data.
The secret information in the magnetic strip of your credit/debit card is copied and then used on a counterfeit card.
You will receive a text message on your mobile phone informing you of a service that you have signed up for or stopped. If you click on the link provided or call the number given, you will be told that you can proceed only after providing essential information.
How to protect yourself?
Here are 8 ways to be vigilant and safeguard your identity.
TEAR IT UP
Scrutinise all correspondence from financial institutions and shred it . Ensure all such e-mails are protected by passwords. Tear your ATM slips and cancelled cheques, don’t just crumple them when you throw them in the trash.
Before disposing of your old gadgets, completely wipe out the memory or any data on it. Even an SMS or mail from your bank can be misused. Remove sensitive data before lending your phone, laptop or pen drives.
Don’t give out personal details no matter who calls you up. Log in to the website or call the customer care yourself. Bookmark websites used often so that you can access them directly rather than through a ‘phishy’ e-mail.
Use virtual keyboards to input your passwords. Change these frequently and use different ones for various websites. Hackers access online forums or blogs to hack passwords because people usually use the same passwords for everything.
Credit Sudhaar is India’s first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.
Courtesy : Economic Times