Identity fraud occurs when an un-authorized person uses the name, Social Security number and/or other personal, medical, or financial information of another person to commit a crime. The common types of the above crime include insurance, financial, Medical, Criminal, Social security, Driver’s license, Child, and Synthetic identity fraud.
There are many online threats, such as hacking, malware, or phishing responsible for these crimes. In the event of stolen, lost, or compromised personal information, the potential damage can be minimized.
The identities of Millions of people are stolen annually, accounting for billions of lost dollars and many hours for damage control. The above crime is common and it could happen to anybody. Therefore, it is advisable to be proactive, by protecting yourself against it. One of the most effective ways of achieving this is to place security ahead of convenience, which is particularly true online, where business accounts face data breaches daily.
Identity fraud protection
· Password protection
Password protection offers an effective way of protecting systems, as well as personal information. Nevertheless, your password needs to be strong and updated regularly. If you suspect identity theft, it is advisable to consider changing your passwords.
· Check credit reports
In addition to password setting, consumers are required to regularly monitor their accounts online, including social media, email and banks, because fraudulent activities become more damaging, when they are left unchecked. Furthermore, you can consider paying for credit monitoring services or monitor credit using a free tool. A good credit monitoring service can alert you about any major changes in your credit on monthly basis.
· Watch out for phishing scams
Phishing is a type of online criminal activities where fraudsters lure internet users into providing illegitimate websites with personal information. Phishing scams present themselves in the form of pop-ups or spam and are usually difficult to detect. When fraudsters obtain personal information, they often use it for various fraudulent activities, placing the good name and credit of their victims at risk.
It is important to know different kinds of phishing frauds and to know how to protect ourselves. Some of the ways of preventing the above crime includes guarding against spam, communicating personal information via secure website or phones, avoid clicking on links, and downloading files or opening attachments from unknown senders.
You should also avoid links in email asking for personal information; beware of pop-ups; never email financial or personal information; protect your computer using anti-virus, anti-spyware, spam filters, & firewall; and check your bank statements & online accounts regularly for any unauthorized transactions.