How Does Identity Theft Happen?

What Is Identity Theft?:

Identity theft is when someone steals your information and uses it to commit fraud.

How Does Identity Theft Happen?:

There are many ways identity theft can happen:

  • Identity theft can occur in person, where fraudsters can .steal wallets, credit cards, or bank statements that contain personal information
  • Identity theft primarily happens digitally. Fraudsters can steal private information by hacking into your device or extracting personal information from data breaches. Over 422 million individuals were affected in the same year by data compromises, including data breaches, leakage, and exposure (Statista).
  • When users are on a public wifi or unsecured website, many hackers can steal personal information by hacking into your device without you knowing. Similarly, cybercriminals can steal data in a data breach if an enterprise is hacked. Hackers can also steal users’ identities digitally by phishing through calls, text messages or emails.
  • Stealing mail: Identity thieves may steal mail, such as bank statements, credit card offers, or tax documents, from people’s mailboxes to obtain their personal information.
  • Shoulder surfing: Identity thieves may watch people enter their PINs or passwords when they use ATMs, computers, or other devices to steal their personal information.

How to Prevent Your Identity from Being Stolen:

There are many easy ways you can help prevent fraudsters from quickly stealing your identity. The first step is to store all documents that contain personal information, such as social security numbers, financial statements, medical records, and credit cards, in a safe place at home and work.

The next step is to limit what you carry with you, don’t carry your social security card unless you need it. Do not share personal, financial, or health information over the phone or online unless you have a trusted relationship with the requestor or initiated contact. All receipts, financial statements, and important documents should be shredded after you no longer need them. In addition, use secure and unique passwords for all online accounts and do not share them.

Finally, encrypt your hard drive and only enter personal information on SSL websites. You might notice a lock icon next to the URL bar in your web browser. This means that a Security Socket Layer protects the website, and it is ok for you to enter personal information. If there is no SSL Certificate, then the website is unsafe.

How Agency Can Help Protect You:

Agency offers enterprise-grade cybersecurity to individuals and families. We also provide personal identification removal from data brokers as well as 24/7 active monitoring of devices. All of this is backed by a $1m cyber insurance guarantee.

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