As the internet has grown in leaps and bounds so has the ability for people to steal personal information. There are numerous dishonest tactics they will try, and once they have obtained your information, it can be difficult to stop them. They will attack your accounts and credit cards and it is even possible that they will try to assume your identity, possibly involving your identity in illegal dealings.
You may not even discover the theft until it is too late and they have drained your accounts, racked up bills or you are contacted about some criminal activity. It is important to know the methods used to gain your personal data and how you can protect yourself.
One method of theft of identity is sending a virus or Trojan horse to your computer through false websites or emails offering special offers. Also, they will attempt to track your purchases through sites that may not be SSL protected. The most common method of internet identity theft is sending a phishing e-mail, it will come to you as a letter with an offer or a article that may look harmless but will then begin to track all of your activity. Phishing focuses on accessing your passwords, usernames and credit card details. It is a criminally punishable crime and it can also happen through instant messaging programs.
If you use a wireless network they can also enter in through that. Once they are linked into your network they can see all information of all users that are logged in. Make sure that your connection is encrypted and that the key is something that only you may know. You should also confirm that access to your network is password protected.
It can be a challenge keeping your protection up to date as identity thieves are constantly creating breaks in protective software to slip through. The best you can do is making sure that you are up to date with anti-virus software and encryption services. You can protect yourself by not opening emails or instant message from contacts or sources you neither know nor trust.
Make sure to read email titles, friends’ emails can be hijacked and when they begin to send you spam-like sounding emails, don’t open them. Reporting suspicious emails and sites will also help close down phishing accounts and will help others as well.
Internet identity theft is serious and a constant battle. It is systems with no barriers to cross that will be targeted first by internet thieves. Make sure to guard your computer and wireless network with appropriate software and due vigilance.