How to protect yourself from Online Identity Theft


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Getting your identity stolen online is one of the most horrifying nightmares anyone could ever imagine. Online Identity theft is a severe criminal offence and has strict consequences related to it in the law. Everyone must have read somewhere or other about the scary online identity theft stories and cases from around the world.

When you are on the internet minding your own business, fraudsters are hawking on you and your personal information. There are a few ways in which you can protect yourself from getting trapped in identity theft. Following are some such ways in which you can save yourself online:

1. Always use a trusted antivirus 

What an antivirus does is keep your computer or any gadget safe from any viruses. It is beneficial in detecting any malware or virus in the system. When working on a computer or on your phone, your utmost concern is the security of your data. And antivirus softwares are the ultimate way to go about keeping your data safe from any misuse.  

However, it is very crucial to use trusted antivirus software that guarantees proper protection against harmful viruses. Many programs allow access to your data like keyloggers, backdoors, etc. Having an antivirus installed in your system will act as a guarding shield between your precious data and the viruses. 

Always use a trusted antivirus
Always use a trusted antivirus

2. Make sure to stay clear of phishing websites

There are so many phishing websites online, these websites look completely identical to an original website, but they are not real. What they do is, hawk your personal information like login details, bank account details, etc.

It is very important to stay clear of these fake sites and save yourself from online identity theft. It is to note that a real website will never ask for the following information from you:

  • Bank account details
  • Phone number
  • Credit card/debit card number
  • Insurance information
  • Home/office address

Phishing websites look ridiculously similar to a real one and they fool most people. And thus end up giving away your important personal information to fraudsters online. However, it is not very difficult to find out if the site is real or not; you just have to keep a few things in mind while surfing any website online. Make sure you check the URL of the website, and for a cross-check purpose, you could visit the official website as well. All this will keep you away from any kind of fraudsters stealing information through fake sites. 

3. Order only from reputed and trusted sites

When you decide to order something online, one thing to keep in mind is to exclusively shop from well-reputed sites for a best and secure experience. There are many videos and posts online that will help you with finding a legit website to buy online. 

Most people know which reputed site to shop and it is one thing that everyone should try. It will help you protect yourself from online identity theft. Also, you must not click on suspicious links and sites. They might be traps to steal your data and personal information. 

Order only from reputed and trusted sites
Order only from reputed and trusted sites

4. Always use strong passwords

Passwords play a significant role in protecting your personal data online from all the potential frauds. It helps you keep your data secure in your own particular set limits. Thus, you must make sure to use only strong passwords for all the sites you have ever logged into.

Using weak passwords will open your data to many risks like fraud, online identity theft, etc. It is very easy for hackers to get access to the accounts with weak passwords. Thus, it is better to set a password that is strong and is not easily crackable. 

A few things to keep in mind while setting a password is that it should have at least ten characters, with a mix of both upper and lower case, and never put any personal data in a password (name, age, etc.). 

5. Post minimum personal information on social media

Most times, people may find social media platforms to be a very fascinating place to post everything about you and your family/friends. But these platforms are also used by fraudsters hawking to steal your information and misusing it for their benefit. It is your responsibility to keep your information safe from any sort of online identity theft. 

You never know what information of yours could be used against you, and that’s why it is only wise to post very limited personal information on your social media accounts because it is always better to be cautious than regret later.  

Check out the following articles to read more about ways to protect yourself from identity theft:

1. https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/9-ways-prevent-identity-theft-online-activities/

2. https://www.valuepenguin.com/personal-finance/how-to-prevent-identity-theft

3. https://www.webroot.com/ie/en/resources/tips-articles/how-can-i-protect-myself-from-identity-theft-online


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