You’ve had the same password for years and it’s a combination of letters only you would figure out. It has you feeling like nobody else can ever guess your password, right? Wrong! Hackers and identity thieves ALWAYS figure out how to get to someone’s personal data.
What is identity theft? Well according to ActionFraud, Identity Theft “happens when fraudsters access enough information about someone’s identity (such as their name, date of birth, current or previous addresses) to commit identity fraud. Identity theft can take place whether the fraud victim is alive or deceased.
If you’re a victim of identity theft, it can lead to fraud that can have a direct impact on your personal finances and could also make it difficult for you to obtain loans, credit cards or a mortgage until the matter is resolved”.
How crazy is that? Imagine all your life’s hard work gone in a matter of seconds! Depressing and so cruel.
To protect yourself from identity theft, especially online, there’s a few things you can do. First, you can change your password ever so often, just be sure to actually remember it. Some people’s passwords are almost too easy to guess.
For example, you may really love strawberries. You may have a strawberry coloured car, a strawberry decorated phone cover, you always post pictures of something strawberry inspired on your Instagram. Hell, you may only drink Strawberry Lips! How do you not expect someone to consider the “strawberry” word as your password for any of your financial accounts? Bad luck for you if it actually is your password. All we’re saying is hackers can put pieces together of your life and almost have a good guess at your password.
Secondly monitor your content on your accounts. If something looks fishy, change your password or shut it down. It could be hacked.
If you’re always shopping online, make sure you’re browsing on a secure site that is recommended. Most fraudsters use these mediums to obtain information from you and steal your identity.
When they get this information they can use it to open bank accounts and obtain loans in your name. They can even directly transfer money from your account to another online, never having to step inside an actual banking hall once. This may affect you by making it hard to obtain loans and credit with your real account when you apply for one.
When it comes to social media, they can act as you (impersonation), and access all your profile information, update your statuses, basically just cause drama you would not do yourself.
If you ever get messages,emails or calls from people asking for details like passwords, be very careful. Even if they claim to be coming from places where you do business, just get in touch with someone else you know from there and find out what the problem is. Never ever give out your password.
Picture credits: HowTo and Examiner.