What Victims of Identity Theft Can Do

If you haven’t heard, Equifax, one of the three big credit reporting agencies in the United States, announced that it suffered a massive data breach. More than 143,000,000 records were compromised, including email addresses, names, social security cards and credit card numbers.

If you believe you were the victim of identity theft, here’s what you can do:

  1. Close the accounts that you believe may have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Use the government’s Identity Theft Report, which can be found at www.identitytheft.govIdentity Theft
  2. File a police report and get a copy to submit to your creditors and others who may require proof of the crime. If you have proof of identity theft, be sure to take that proof with you when you go to file your police report.
  3. File your complaint with the FTC at www.consumer.ftc.gov. The FTC maintains an identity theft database that law enforcement agencies use for investigations. Filing a complaint also helps the FTC better assist you, as the commission learns more about online theft of identities and the problems it creates.

If you are a business owner with an SSL certificate but without protection from hackers, contact Trust Guard, the leader in website security to protect you and your online visitors from hackers.

Effective Protection from Identity Theft

This is the 21st century and, in case you didn’t know, a whole lot of information is stored on the internet. In this ‘digital age’ (as some like to call it), any individual or business without an online presence is deemed ‘outdated’ or ‘old-school’. 


Identity Theft
While a lot of the content on the internet may be irrelevant, some of your valuable, personally identifiable information may be stolen by online hackers and impersonators. Identity theft refers to the act of impersonating another person to access their bank account, to obtain and abuse a credit card in their victim’s name, or to tap into other personal or professional resources. 
Identity theft is a crime. It is estimated that over 15 million Americans every year are victims of identity theft.

Here are some of the most effective ways to avoid being the next victim.

Try using a Firewall: Identity thieves that do not have a direct access to your computer can also gain access to your files by hacking into your internet connection. A firewall is a software that is able to control and regulate access to your internet connection. A firewall on your computer serves as a gatekeeper for incoming or outgoing internet traffic, allowing you to decide which programs can send and receive information.

Try to Watch Out for Phishing: Phishing scams are trending now and even my email is saturated with hundreds of them. Identity thieves create and use replicas of popular websites, fake lottery entries, fake loan applications and many other ways to trick people into entering their personal information which they eventually steal. Next time you get an email to update your website account details, be sure to check the URL of the web page before entering your details.

Identity TheftAlways Try to Be Secure: An identity thief that is able to somehow gain access to your network can intercept your network traffic and maneuver his way to files and sensitive information on your computer. Regularly changing the network password for your local WiFi and the login information for your router might be the safest thing to do.

Beware of Malicious Software: What better way to gain access to files and sensitive information on your computer than to use malicious software and programs. The presence of loads of free software and cracks on the internet is a problem in disguise. Many of these free software are plagued with Trojan horses and Spyware programs that steal sensitive information from your computer and only require an internet connection to relay this back to its master without you ever knowing.

Use A Complex Password and Change it Often: The importance of this cannot be over emphasized. Use a combination of Upper case and lower case letters, numbers and characters to create the most untraceable password you can think of, and of course remember. Also, changing this password regularly is also very important. If you’ve seen the movie Mr. Robot, you’d understand why you must avoid using your personal information as your password, like your date of birth, partner’s name, or pet’s name.

Use Data Encryption Software: Okay, I can’t possibly stop you from keeping sensitive data on your computer. However, if at all these data gets stolen by identity thieves, you’ve made it all too easy for them by not having them encrypted. And in case things do get stolen, it’s not a bad idea to have a copy on a flash drive or online with Google Drive or Dropbox.

Ensure Website Protection: Whenever you register on a website that requires you to submit sensitive information such as your name, address, phone number, age, personal interests, banking details, always endeavor to check if data is submitted exclusively via an encrypted secure connection (SSL/TLS protocol). How do you check this? Simply look at your address bar and if you see ‘https://’ instead of ‘http://’ then you’ll know that your connection is secure. The “s” in the “https” means secure. 

 

Look for Security Trust Seals On Websites Before Shopping: As a seller online, trust seals are an amazing way to tell your customers that your website has been scanned by a website protection company and your business is legit and secure. As a shopper, you need to ensure that the website you’re shopping on has a trust seal displayed on their home page. If they do, check it out and determine if it is the real deal. Trust Guard is among the best trust seal providers. Trust seals can make your customers feel safer before performing transactions with you online and they have been proven to increase your online sales.


Identity TheftHi there, I’m Emmanuel Ozigi, a biochemist in the making from Nigeria. In my spare time, I’m a science, health, and fitness blogger. I also specialize in graphic design and photo editing. I also have this insatiable hunger for information and the desire to learn new things. Visit my blog at http://sciencehealth24.com.