How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

5 February, 2014

Online financial transactions have their own vulnerabilities. Our dependence on technology and social media has altered our perception of living in every aspect. You do not have to stand in queues in order to register yourself anywhere.  However, The Telegraph suggests that it is cost effective and consumes less time, and poses a major threat. Identity theft is not easily detectable unless we see appalling consequences.

What to post online

Everybody is blogging, taking up online courses, working virtually. There are times when personal information becomes vital. A few people post their personal information like home address, etc, on social media networks like Facebook, etc. Having a sense of discretion as to where to post and where not to post your personal information is important.

Using a firewall and antivirus

Many times, we do not realize how phishing website posts Trojans and viruses on our computer that steal our personal data. Hence, it is important to customize firewall settings to maximum protection and block pop-ups from websites.

Recognizing spam mail

Emails that ask you to fill in personal details claiming you to be the next beneficiary for a lumpsum amount, is just one of the few examples of a phishing email. Empty your spam folder daily. Always check the email address of the sender. A genuine email address has a standardized format.

Temp and Prefetch files

Delete temporary internet files and prefetch files. These files contain your stored information used in online forms, clipboards etc. Any vicious program that installs itself on the computer goes through these files and collects data. Hence, it is important to do the regular clean up of these files and delete log files.

Check bank statements regularly

We often take this for granted. Our mails are lying somewhere and we do not check it until it becomes necessary. Skimming through your bank statements if everything is in order is another cautionary way to protect you from identity theft.

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