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Before we even get into talking about how to protect yourselves from Identity theft, let us first understand what it means. In simple terms, Identity theft is when hackers can get access to extremely personal details like your email id, passwords, your identification documents, your bank accounts, credit card details etc. and to use them without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes.
Thanks to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. there is a huge amount of personal information available freely on the internet. Anyone with bad intentions and requisite skills can easily commit online fraud using your details. Hence, here are a few tips that can protect your identity from theft.
Multi-factor authentication: With the number of phishing scams on the rise, it is important to always check the emails that you get and not to click on the links that have been sent over the mail or as a message. The email IDs can be easily impersonated. Also, ensure that you have multi-factor authentication enabled on all your important accounts. This will ensure that you get alerted anytime when someone is trying to break into your accounts.
Most banks, email service providers, social media platforms etc offer two-factor authentication where a code is sent to your mobile or email id and only after the code is supplied, it allows you to log in.
Password manager: Using a password manager helps you remember your passwords for various services. It not only removes the pain of typing in the password every time but is considered safe in case someone is using a key mapper to track your online activities. The Chrome browser comes with a built-in password manager and in case you want to use a third-party app, LastPass, 1Passwords and Keeper are among the few options that you can consider.
VPN: Using a VPN is the simplest solution to keep your tracks clean. While you should use a VPN anyways, however, in case you access the internet using a public WiFi, use torrents often or like accessing the deep web, it is advisable to use a VPN. Also, remember buying a trusted VPN as cheaper VPNs may end up exposing your data.
AntiVirus and online security software: Antivirus and other security software are like those selfless guards who protect us around the clock, and still are ignored the most. While Windows devices ship with a built-in antivirus – Windows Defender, however, other devices like smartphones, tablets etc. should also have a dedicated application around security monitoring that can warn you whenever any application is trying to steal your data or when you’re entering credentials on an unsecured website/page