Top 5 tips to safeguard yourself from identity theft
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Majority of us have started using Internet not just for searching information, but to pay bills, buy things, money transfer, work from home and much more. Many hackers take advantage of this and are trying various methods to steal sensitive information like username, password, credit card numbers, etc. This is referred to as identity theft. How to survive this and safeguard yourself from identity theft? Here are top 5 tips to protect you from identity theft.
1. Have you received an e-mail asking for personal information like your birthday, your username, password or your mother’s maiden name, etc? If yes, please do not respond to such e-mails even if they look legit. Such emails will look like they were sent by your bank or Credit Card Company. This is the main reason why many part away with their personal information. Banks or any other financial institutions will never ask for such sensitive information through e-mail. If you have any doubts on whether it is really sent by your bank, call the customer care and clarify your doubt.
2. Check whether there are any grammatical mistakes or typographical errors are present. No bank or financial institution will send e-mails that are grammatically incorrect or one with lots of spelling mistakes. If you find even a single mistake, rest assured it is from a hacker and not from your financial institution.
3. Some people when they receive such suspicious e-mails, they would try to call up the bank using the number provided in the e-mail. There are 100% chances that this number is not the number of your bank; therefore, do not call your bank using the number provided in the e-mail. Call up using the number you normally use to call your bank or financial institution and check whether they really sent such an e-mail.
4. If the e-mail that you received is not from trusted source, why take chance of opening it. Delete the e-mail without any hesitation. These e-mails may most of the times contain viruses or spyware or malware. When you open these files, these malicious programs get installed in your system and will start sending information to hackers’ computer.
5. Do not use the same password to all websites that you use. Keep changing the passwords at least once in every 3 months. Use a combination of alphabets (both upper and lowercase), numbers, and special characters. Many websites insist that you change the password frequently. When signing up for a website, almost majority of the websites will show how strong your password is. Change the password if it is weak.
Here's a small pie chart that details about various types of identity theft.
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With these tips, safeguard your system against identity theft and phishing attacks.
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