Common Ways You Could Be Putting Yourself at Risk for Identity Theft
Everyday activities may be putting you at risk for identity theft. According to Identity Force, one in 15 people has been a victim of identity theft.
Here’s what you need to know to stay safe and continue doing the things that you love.
Using the Same Password for Everything
Using the same password for everything may seem very convenient, but that convenience comes at a price. It is easier for hackers to get your personal information when you use the same password again. Once they have one, they will try the same one for other sites. Some online sites are not as secure as they seem, so if hackers get your password, they may also have access to personal information. Many passwords were also ranked as “weak,” meaning they are easier to guess. A weak password puts the user at a higher risk of identity theft. According to Pixel Privacy, only 20 percent of Americans prioritize their entertainment accounts – including services such as Netflix and Hulu – as a place where identity theft could occur. However, these accounts may have less security compared to financial accounts so, with the same password, identity theft becomes easy.
Putting Financial Info into Unsecure Sites
Putting your financial information into unsecured sites can put you at risk for identity theft. Hackers can get your information and possibly use your bank account and other assets. Then you will have to spend a lot of time and money convincing financial officials that the purchases of the identity thief were not yours. The thief may open a credit card in the victim’s name as well as steal information linked to the account, such as a social security number, to continue stealing your identity.
Sharing Financial Info on Social Media
Exposing information on social media makes it very easy for someone to become a victim of identity theft. Social media posts make hacking easier because if you share it, no security is keeping the information from being seen and then used. The more personal information you share on social media and the more people you allow to see it, the more information you’re allowing potential scammers to piece together to steal your identity.
Using Public Wi-Fi
While using public Wi-Fi, the owner of the network may be able to access information from your device. Also, the open nature of the service makes it easier for hackers to get passwords and IP addresses from your device. They can then use this information to engage in activities in your name. Also, the hotspot itself may be malicious. It could be intended to take your information and likely use it for the creator’s benefit.
Responding To Phishing Emails
Phishing emails or phone calls are meant to seem like they are coming from a legitimate source. However, in reality, there is likely an identity thief behind the emails. Responding gives the hacker information that identifies you and your device. Phishing emails can also direct users to an unsecured website where they’re prompted to input personal information.
It is important to be aware of activities that may put you at risk from identity theft so that you can stay safe while still engaging in regular activities. Falling prey to identity theft can be costly, especially if it goes undetected.
For more financial tips, visit the Tayne Law Group blog.