identity theft concept

Identity Theft: Four Ways It Can Happen to You

Identity theft is a prevalent crime that can affect anyone. If someone steals your identity, they can basically purchase anything under your name. It’s one of the reasons some lending companies resort to getting an IRS tax transcript online just to see if the person asking for a loan is the person they say they are.

Identity theft is something that no one should take lightly. You should protect yourself from this crime at all costs. To be better prepared, you should know how people steal identities.

Data Breach

One of the most commonly used methods to commit identity theft is to execute a data breach. What this means is that a hacker looks for a computer network with poor security and breaches it. Then, they will look for any personal information on the people belonging to that network. These include names, addresses, age, and even security questions on email addresses.

What hackers often do is they send out seemingly safe links and when unsuspecting people click on those links, they compromise the integrity of their computer’s security, making it easier for hackers to infiltrate the system. They could also hack into people’s personal computers by pretending to be legitimate websites asking for personal information.

In order to avoid identity theft, you should never store personal information in your office computer. You should also double-check websites that ask too much personal data about you.

Public Wi-Fi

The next time you’re waiting for your flight, try to avoid using the public Wi-Fi to access your social media accounts and emails. A lot of hackers often target people through public Wi-Fi because you’re sharing a large network with so many people so your data security is very vulnerable.

If you really need to check your emails or you need to send a message to your sister that your flight has been moved, then use the public Wi-Fi sparingly. As soon as you’re done checking your messages, log out right away.

Also, don’t purchase any items online when you’re using public Wi-Fi. Online purchases often require you to divulge private data such as credit card information, so you’ll only be leaving yourself vulnerable to hackers.

Stealing Mail

mail box

Some hackers still use old-school methods in stealing other people’s identities like stealing snail mail from mailboxes. If you think about it, this makes sense because it’s easier than hacking into a highly protected computer network.

Mailboxes are often easy to open, especially the ones you find in front of suburban houses. Those mailboxes are often unguarded and unlocked, so it’s very easy to open them up and steal credit cards, personal mail, and other items that can help a hacker steal another person’s identity.

Stealing Social Security Cards

Your social security card carries your social security number, which basically carries your income information. If a hacker gets a hold of your card, then they can use it to pretend to be you and fleece you of your finances. So, don’t bring your social security card with you outside your home unless you really need it.

Identity theft can affect anyone. But as long as you implement security measures on your computer and other items like your social security card, you’ll be able to fend off hackers from stealing your identity.

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