The era of online shopping is upon us. By simply clicking a button, we can shop in the comforts of our homes. Some even do their shopping while in the bathroom. No need to rush into traffic or endure long lines in the mall to buy what we need. As the holiday season is closing in, buying gifts for our loved ones and friends, buying decorations, paying bills, and even ordering meals only takes a few clicks and it’s on your door in a couple of minutes.
As electronic payments allow people to make cashless payments for goods and services through cards, mobile phones, and the internet, it can be very convenient as you can do this any time of the day wherever you are. However, electronic payments pose security concerns, particularly for unsuspecting and vulnerable users.
One of the fastest-growing crimes in the US is Identity theft. This is a type of crime wherein someone obtains the personal and financial data of another person without their permission and uses it to commit fraud or an illegal act. The information obtained by criminals can be used to apply for credit cards or loans under the victim’s name, set up cell phone services, go shopping using their credit cards and even buy a home.
So, there are ways that identity theft criminals can obtain your information. The most common is through a Phishing attack wherein the victim receives a spam email or texts from someone pretending to be from a legitimate company or someone they trust and when they click a link, the device used by the victim will be infected with a malware that can steal information from that device. And it is important to know that identity theft does not only occur online but also through old-fashioned ways like stealing your mail from your mailbox, and even rummaging in your trash for bank statements and bills. Is your loved one arrested due to an identity theft crime? Look them up in an inmate locator Colorado of the expert 24 hour bail bonds company, Red’s Anytime Bail Bonds.
Thus, it is essential to be always vigilant and protective of your personal information as criminals nowadays are coming up with more sophisticated ways to get their hands on your sensitive information. Here are some of the ways to protect yourself from identity thefts, particularly during the busy holiday season:
Use strong passwords
Let’s be honest, the word Password or 123456789 is the dumbest password to use for your accounts online. Anyone, even a child, could open your account if you don’t use a strong password. It is important that passwords should be over 10 characters long with a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. Also, using different passwords on different accounts is advisable to avoid illegal access to your accounts. If you are having a hard time remembering all your passwords, using a password manager will save the day.
Monitor your credit reports regularly
Most people have time to watch 20 episodes of their favorite shows but have no time to even look at their monthly credit card reports or billing statements. You can detect suspicious activities by checking your credit card reports regularly. Thus, it is important to set a time monthly to check your credit reports.
Be Vigilant of Phishing
The number one rule in cyber security is never to click any links without checking the legitimacy of the sender no matter how good or trusted they are. For instance, when you receive an email about winning huge prize money for a contest you did not participate in and one way to claim the prize is by clicking a link, you should already be aware that this is a Phishing attack.
Well, maybe not everything but anything that could be rummaged from the trash such as credit card statements, bank account information, and investment statements should be properly shredded to avoid it from getting into the wrong hands.
Avoid oversharing online
Most people get excited to share everything about their life online, particularly on social media. Some even post photos of documents with their sensitive information serving it out on a silver platter to criminals. Thus, as much as possible, avoid sharing your information such as birthdate, email address and children’s name on social media as tech-savvy identity theft criminals could use this for phishing attacks and scams.
If your loved one has been arrested for identity theft, it is best to call a 24 hour bail bonds company that provides a convenient inmate locator in Colorado. The holiday should be spent with your loved ones. Call now!