While all types of scams pose a serious challenge, personal information scams are one of the most powerful and require special care for consumers to detect and avoid. People need to educate themselves about protecting their personal information, but many may find it unclear where to start. There are five key steps you can take to prevent identity fraud and prevent fraudsters and scammers from retrieving your personal information and accessing your account.
Beware of phishing
Phishing email (Opens in a new tab) It is an essential tactic for scammers and has evolved beyond the clumsy and poorly written efforts of the past. However, in many cases, the format is poor and there are still signs of fraud, such as unofficial email addresses.Phishing email (Opens in a new tab) It is designed to convince consumers to click on malicious links, so consumers need to avoid following unrecognized links. Pay particular attention to emails that require immediate attention, such as requesting payment to maintain energy. Fraudsters know that consumers are more likely to make mistakes if there is an urgency.
The best way to eradicate counterfeiting is to log in to your personal account on your company’s website and verify your information individually. Companies often post warnings on their websites if they are aware of fraudulent emails. Phishing, where phishing is done via text messages, is not a new threat, but it has evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic and represents another path that consumers need to be very vigilant.
Enable two-factor authentication
Many online accounts offer two-factor authentication to help prevent online account hijacking. Text messaging is the second most popular element, but it’s also vulnerable to hijacking, so you’ll have to choose another element if it’s available to you.
Sign up for activity alerts from financial institutions
You can send an alert to consumers about suspicious activity related to your account by signing up for activity alerts at your bank or credit card company. People will be notified immediately, which will prevent further fraudulent charges and withdrawals. Do not delay reporting to a bank suspected of fraud. Also, ask about the possibility of closing the account in question.
Set up ID and credit monitoring
People can register with identity and credit monitoring services that provide alerts when data is under threat. Personal information is often traded on the dark web, and surveillance services focus on where data is known to be bought and sold and send alerts when personal data is identified. Credit monitoring services alert individuals to changes in their credit profile, such as new trading lines or strict authorization queries. If an individual is concerned that their information has been misused, experts can determine the depth of the fraud and assist in the recovery of their identities.
Follow password security best practices
There is a lot of advice on creating a strong and unique password for each account. Still, the average person has 70-80 accounts, so it’s hard to remember everything and many people reuse passwords.Password manager installation (Opens in a new tab) Helps generate and store passwords for all accounts on the device. Using common passwords such as QWERTY and dog names is not secure, but it can be an almost impossible alternative to guess.
The biggest point from now on is that there is no silver bullet that guarantees complete protection in avoiding personal information fraud. The best thing consumers can do is be vigilant and careful. By adopting the layers of security described in the list above, individuals can gain the most important level of protection from threats that are certain to become increasingly destructive in the future.
Watch the video here: 5 Tips to Avoid Theft of Personal Information