It’s a question that concerns many people in the digital age. With all the personal information floating around in cyberspace, it’s no wonder that identity theft has become one of the most prevalent crimes in the world. In this article, we’ll discuss what identity theft is, some case studies, and how you can protect yourself from becoming a victim.
Identity theft occurs when someone uses another person’s name, social security number, or other personal information to obtain credit cards, loans, or other services. Thieves can obtain this information in a number of ways, including hacking into computer systems, stealing mail, or simply obtaining personal information from an unsuspecting victim. Once they have access to your identity, thieves can use it for financial gain, commit crimes in your name, or even obtain medical treatment using your insurance.
Identity theft can have a devastating effect on victims, both financially and emotionally. In some cases, it takes years to recover from this type of crime. Sometimes a victim can spend years trying to pay off credit and recover after their identity is stolen.
If you are concerned about becoming a victim of identity theft, there are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself:
A few years ago, phishing emails were quite easy to spot because the content and message were clearly off the mark. Today it’s much harder to tell the difference, first because we use our email address everywhere, so we expect to receive a lot of emails we don’t expect. And then because malicious e-mails have become very personal. They address themselves directly to me, using my name, sometimes my address, my phone number, moreover, some of them know that I visited such or such site, that I made purchases there, they know on what date, and even at what time. So much information that makes the email credible, and it happens that the email is followed by a phone call,
Simply because we put all these data on many different sites, social networks, etc. It is a very easy search for people with bad intentions. The other reason is that sites like Facebook, which has billions of users when they are not busy making money by selling our data get hacked.
Facebook, to take just one example, was hacked and offered the information of 1.5 billion accounts. Its information ended up on the dark web and is circulating around the world.
There are a number of free software programs that can help you protect your identity.
One of the most popular is called free identity theft protection software. This software is free, it’s open-source and it can be used by anyone. The software can be used to monitor your credit report and other personal information, open a new bank account or apply for a loan. It will also help you keep track of all your passwords, usernames, and PINs so that if they are compromised, the free identity theft protection software will send you an alert so you can change them.
One of the best ways to protect yourself is to use the most secure smartphone, best privacy phone or an encrypted phone, or an untraceable phone to prevent your information from being spread around without your knowledge. I say phone because it’s the tool we use most to connect today, but this applies to all devices. You should know that a phone that reports to Apple or Google, is not really respectful of your privacy, since both sell their users’ data. One more time, you should use the most secure smartphone, best privacy phone, encrypted phone, or untraceable phone to fight this trend.
Internet users who use Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are particularly affected. Their risk of experiencing identity theft fraud is 46% higher than those who are not active on any social network.
A study by Javelin Strategy claims that total fraud losses reach $16.9 billion in 2019.
Symantec found that 87 percent of Internet users have left their personal information exposed by reading emails, checking bank accounts, or financial data, another problem that could be limited by using a VPN.
The 2020 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book report reveals that there were 394,324 reports of welfare fraud that year, a staggering 2,920 percent increase over 2019. This makes welfare fraud the number one type of identity fraud reported in 2020. In second place was credit card fraud with over 393,000 reports.
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