Identity Theft Protection is essential in this insecure digital world. Identity thefts can lead to much worse situations which you probably have not even thought about, It can lead to you losing access to your personal resources and leading to distrust among community.
What Is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is a form of Fraud where a person (usually a hacker in Online cases) pretends to be someone else by faking his or her identity.
Why Identity Theft?
The main motive of Identity theft is to gain access to resources or other sensitive details without letting out his own identity and staying in the safe side, The other possible use is to fake a person’s identity and gain access to their resources like credit cards and other personal data in order to further harm the person.
How Do They Perform Identity Thefts Online?
Identity thefts in the Internet are much more easier than in the Offline world. There are many techniques used by frauds to get it done, I will list some of them.
- E-Mail Theft – Hacking into your email account and stealing possible details regarding your identity like your Contacts, Name, Address, Telephone Number etc.
- Keylogging – Keyloggers are malicious (some are not) softwares that attach themselves to your operating system and records your computer usage like typed keys (Passwords/Usernames), Visited webpages, Voice, Video conversations and sends them to the hacker who infected your computer.
- Hacking Large Data Systems which hold personal information of people like Bank Databases, Social Networking Sites, websites where you have registered etc.
- Fake Job Offers – These are fake offers or advertisements which promise to offer you and on the pretext ask you to fill in the Job Application Form which will be covering your personal details which are sufficient for the person to fake your identity. You are often asked to attach your Bio Data/ CV which further reveals personal information.
- Browsing Social Networks – Everybody is on Facebook! Right? and every one of us keep a completed profile. These are treats for frauds who surf unprotected profiles and collect information. WARNING – Always set your privacy options in Facebook to be visible ONLY to your friends.
- Browsing Your Temporary Files – Your computer holds too much information about you, more than you can think of. They reside in the form of temporary files and cached copies of documents. These are often unknown to us and hard to access but these can be well utilized by malicious software.
That was it with Identity Theft, Now lets see how proceed with Identity Theft Protection.
Identity Theft Protection
Identity theft protection is required to help you stay safe on the web, As said above identity thefts can be fatal hence there is a need for identity theft protection.
Tips for Identity Theft Protection.
1. Remove Your Traces
You read it right, Remove your traces from where ever you were on the internet, This might seem to be a time consuming and tedious process but it is the first step to identity theft protection.
- Always Clean your temporary files with CCleaner after browsing the web.
- Use Incognito mode in Google Chrome | Private Browsing in Firefox and Opera and similar options in other browsers.
- Secure Delete your sensitive data and files using Secure Wipe.
2. Secure Your Systems
Securing your systems from malicious softwares and hackers is an important step to identity theft protection.
- Use an Antivirus Software and Keep it updated (Update it Daily). I recommend using Avira Free Antivirus or Avast Free Antivirus.
- Use a Firewall to limit and block any unauthorized internet activity like Keyloggers sending out their logs which contains your personal data. I recommend using Comodo Free Firewall.
- Using Antispyware and Antimalware Applications to protect from malwares and spywares. Use Spybot Search and Destroy or Spyware Doctor Free.
- Install and use Sandboxie. [Detailed Tutorial Here]
3. Stay Alert on Social Networks
Social Networks have become a part of our lives, We check our profiles everyday for updates from our friends etc. But this can also be hazardous to our web security as they are filled with Identity Thieves.
- Don’t accept friend request from unknown people even if they may be having many number of mutual friends. That is a tactic used by them to lure you into accepting the request, Normally people check if they have mutual friends and if they see 1 or 2 they too accept the request. Avoid doing that.
- Set your Facebook profile privacy settings accordingly so that your sensitive details like Address,Phone Number etc are not exposed to everyone. Set them to be visible to only the friends you know personally. Must Read : How to Secure Your Facebook Account.
- Don’t get tricked into revealing your personal details like Security Questions of Email Accounts to unknown people. These acts of gaining information from people is known as Social Engineering.
4. Using Temporary Details
While web browsing you may be presented with tons of offers and other incentives which will force you to enter your Email Address and other personal informations. Avoid giving your Original Email Address or Name,Address etc to those forms. Here is a way to fill in the form without giving your personal informations.
- If the form asks you for your Name,Address,Phone Number then go to FakeNameGenerator. Copy the details from there and fill in the form. You don’t need to worry about the relevance of those informations because they are jumbled up Address,Name etc which in reality don’t exist.
If you are worried about the source of those details, Then Visit their FAQ Section.
WARNING : Don’t Use The SSN (Social Security Number)/Email Address/Website offered there.
- If the form asks you for your Email Address then go to 10MinuteMail or GuerrillaMail copy the temporary email address and fill in that. Or you can make a new Trash Gmail Account and use that.
5. Using Secured Connections
Nowadays all the major websites provide a SSL or HTTPS mode to surf their website. These are to be used so as to prevent session hijacking attempts made by hackers to gain your logins and passwords.
Do You Know : Firefox can be used as a Hacking Tool by Hackers to perform Session Hijacking and Network Sniffing.
- Activate HTTPS Connection in Facebook by changing the URL from HTTP://www.facebook.com to HTTPS://www.facebook.com then accept the confirmation.
- Open Gmail > Mail Settings > Always Use HTTPS.
- The same option is available in other major Email Services and Social Networking Sites.
6. Using a Proxy or SSH or VPN
When browsing unknown websites or forums which you think might your activities, It is always advisable to use a Proxy while surfing them.
- To use a proxy, Go to HideMyAss and start surfing through it.
- To use a VPN, Download CyberGhost Free VPN and start using it while surfing to forge your IP.
- There is a detailed Tutorial to use SSH on HackTabs : How to Setup SSH Tunneling in Firefox and Surf Anonymously
7. Never Click on Unknown Links
There is a common habit among web surfers that they click on unknown links that promise to deliver them something. While the delivered item might not please you in long run as it might be a Trojan loaded with the link or a Java Drive By.
If you suspect a Short URL Sent to you might be infected, The copy the URL and paste it in this site : LongURL and click Expand.
Alternatively you can make a Bookmark of this script and when a page contains a ShortURL, Click on the Bookmark and the link will be converted to LongURL without leaving the page.
To Make the Bookmark, Visit this page : LongURLPlease > Drag the Bookmarklet to your Bookmarks Toolbar.
That was it with Identity Theft Protection, If you liked the Article please share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter so that they are aware of Identity Theft Protection.