Identity Theft 101: What You Need to Know

    What is Identity Theft and How Can I Stay Safe?

    Identity theft is a form of fraud that occurs when someone steals another person’s personal information like their; name, home address, tax file number, credit card details, and other sensitive data. This generally results in fraudsters opening a new bank account, obtaining a credit card, taking out a loan, applying for a passport and conducting all sorts of illegal activity.

    How does Identity Theft Occur?

    Identity theft occurs when cyber criminals gets their hands on enough personal information to be able to impersonate them. This can include:

    • Data breaches: Hackers infiltrate a company’s systems and steals customer data
    • Phishing: Hackers use scams to trick people into entering their personal and financial info onto fake websites pretending to be legitimate
    • Stolen wallets/purses: Physical theft of personal documents
    • Social media: Hackers sift through publicly displayed information
    • Unsecured Wi-Fi: Hackers log onto unsecured Wi-Fi networks and obtain login credentials and other sensitive information

    Once this information has been obtained, criminals can commit fraud to accomplish whatever goal they have in mind, in most cases financial fraud for monetary gain.

    What Happens When My Identity is Stolen?

    Once your identity falls into the wrong hands, the consequences can be severe. Identity thieves can:

    • Drain your bank accounts
    • Apply for loans in your name
    • Make unauthorised purchases using your credit cards
    • Damage your credit score
    • Lead to legal troubles
    • Cause significant stress and effort to restore your identity and fix any damage done

    How Can I Prevent Identity Theft

    1. Practice Good Digital Hygiene
    • Never disclose sensitive or confidential information
    • Exercise caution when clicking on links and opening attachments from unknown senders
    • Create strong, unique passwords. You can use password generators to help you generate strong passwords.
    • If you don’t use a password manager change your passwords regularly. Trend Micro recommends you update them at least every three months
    • Set up Two-Factor Authentication for your online accounts

    2. Enhance Your Devices Security and Privacy

    • If you have a Windows PC, enable the Firewall
    • Regularly update your operating system and web browsers
    • Safeguard your device and all your accounts with a security solution like Device Security Advanced.

    3. Start Safeguarding your Identity Trend Micro

    For even stronger protection, consider Trend Micro’s advanced detection technology and proactive monitoring capabilities. Explore Device Security Advanced, which offers real-time alerts for suspicious activity, privacy checks, social media monitoring, dark web monitoring, and secure password management.

    Post a comment

    Your email address won't be shown publicly.


      This website uses cookies for website functionality, traffic analytics, personalization, social media functionality and advertising. Our Cookie Notice provides more information and explains how to amend your cookie settings.