Cyber crimes, particularly identity thefts online are very common today. With cyber criminals on the prowl, your personal information is an easy target for these criminals who thrive on stolen identities that they use to open accounts in a third person’s name and indulge in impersonation that can leave you in a dicey situation. It is very easy for a criminal to sit in the comfort of his home and commit such crimes, with the hope of getting away, which he is able to manage most of the time. Hence, it is in your interest to safeguard yourself and prevent such untoward incidents.
The first thing that you need to look out for is the plethora of phishing websites that have been specifically created to commit such online frauds. These sites, for all practical purposes appear to be legitimate websites that are in regular businesses. However, the fact of the matter is that they are cleverly camouflaged fakes out to get your personal details. Most of the time they try to convince you to part with your username and password, with some ploy or the other. The more cheeky ones try to get your social security number along with very personal information like your date of birth and residential address. Whenever a website solicits the following information, you need to be on guard:
- Details of Social Security
- Credit Card details
- Information about your bank account
- Driver’s License Number
- Phone Number
- Residential address
- Health Insurance details
You need to realize that the request could be genuine. However, no bank ever asks for your personal information online. The same applies to credit card companies who are very finicky about requesting or providing personal information about their customers.
The best option is to use effective Anti-Malware or Anti-Virus software, from any of the reputed companies. Once these are installed, it is difficult for hackers to hack in, plant such malefic software in your PC, and wreak havoc. Check the Internet to find the best available anti-virus and anti-malware software and have it installed right away.
Most hackers are experts at cracking the passwords you have set for your emails and other online accounts. Hence, be sure to create a password that is Alfa-numeric and difficult to crack. Avoid creating passwords that contain your home addresses, dates of birth or names, as they are the easiest to crack. Once the hacker gains access to you email or online account he or she gains access to sensitive and private information that is used for their nefarious activities.
Other popular sources for gleaning personal information easily are the popular social media network sites. The information that you divulge on any social media site has to be minimal, and should never include your personal details. Though most social media sites ask for such information, it is not mandatory for you to reveal such information and the choice is yours. Just as hackers find it easy to hack your email accounts, they are adept at gaining vital information from social media sites very easily. Overall, guarding your personal information should help prevent any seasoned hacker from getting to any of your details.