Internet identity theft protection, How can you stop online identity theft from affecting you
The Internet is still a fairly new technological advancement that has greatly simplified our lives by providing unlimited access to all sorts of information and services. It hasn't taken long, however, for identity theft criminals to find ways to use the Internet for online identity theft illegal purposes. One of the fastest growing Internet crimes is Internet identity theft. Identity thieves are constantly perfecting their methods of snatching vital personal information from innocent, unknowing Internet users. There are many different ways Internet identity theft thieves can access information that may be stored on your computer's hard drive. This sensitive computer data can include your name, user names and passwords for financial or shopping websites, and even your credit card number. One of the most common methods of Internet identity theft is stealing this information by installing spyware on your computer, without your knowledge. Spyware programs, once installed, gather information from the temporary files on your computer and record your internet activity, relaying all of this data back to the criminal. Computer identity theft can devastate your financial stability. Once a criminal has their hands on your personal information, they can use the credit cards and bank accounts you already have in place, and may open new accounts in your name. Many internet identity theft victims have suffered from cell phones, credit cards, car loans, and sometimes even home mortgages being taken out in their name, without their knowledge.
How Can I Prevent Myself From Becoming a Victim of Internet Identity Theft?
People are becoming more and more aware of computer identity theft as the crime continues to grow. It is important for both new internet users and those who are experienced surfers to take extra preventive identity theft measures to protect themselves from falling victim to the silent crime of online identity theft. Each time businesses and consumers find ways to stop these criminals; they invent new Internet identity theft methods to continue their crimes. There are a few basic steps you can take to protect yourself from becoming the next computer identity theft victim. Most importantly, remember to never give out your personal information, account numbers, or passwords unless you initiated the transaction. If you receive an email or phone call requesting any of this sensitive data, do not reply. Instead call the business making the request or log directly into their website to be sure it is a legitimate action, not an internet identity theft attempt. Even if you are threatened to have your accounts closed, refuse to give out your personal data. Report any suspicious calls or emails to the business it supposedly originated from so it can be investigated. You should also monitor your credit cards and bank accounts on a regular basis to catch any peculiar actions before the problem becomes worse. Use the most current operating system on your computer and always run compatible anti-spyware, virus protection, and firewall software, especially while online. Be sure you keep these programs up to date and secure your wireless internet connections.
Identifying Internet Phishing Scams
Internet phishing scams are one of the leading perpetrators of online identity theft. These scams usually come in the form of an official looking email from a familiar financial institution or website that you may hold an account with, like EBay or PayPal. Inside the email, you will typically find a clickable link with a request asking you to confirm your account number or update your password. Clicking this link will take you to a website that closely resembles the website of the business the email claims to be from. If you enter your personal information into this cloned site, it will be sent directly to a thief and you will soon be another of the millions of victims of internet identity theft.
Here are a few tips that may protect you from becoming a victim of computer identity theft:
Avoiding Internet Identity Theft
If you are not already running an internet security suite, you should first erase your prior internet activity. In your internet browser, click the tools tab and then options to clear the history as well as any cookies. For the best protection from computer identity theft, set the options to erase these each day. Find a reliable and reputable internet security program that includes a dependable firewall, anti-spyware software, and a spam filter for email. You can also find software with web filters to block out any websites known to be a part of phishing scams. These simple suggestions can prevent you from becoming the next Internet identity theft victim.
Daryl plaza a regular contributor to IdentityTheftFraudProtection.com an informational identity theft website that is designed to help inform you about the different forms of identity theft and how you can help prevent that from happening to you.