Identity fraud can be a horrifying crime, and, unfortunately, it happens more often than you think. While security measures prevent such bad scenarios, scammers online invent new, improved techniques to trap their victims.
Once the personal details are accessed, it’s game over, as the tiniest stolen piece of information might lead to identity theft. Since we’re surrounded by technology 24/7, we need to be extra careful with our data and how we store it online. Users and businesses need to be aware of the fraud risks.
So, what are we waiting for? Jump in to learn more about identity fraud and how to prevent it.
What Is Identity Fraud?
Identity fraud or identity theft involves someone using another individual’s data for their benefit without consent. Usually, scammers profit off the stolen information by maneuvering through all sorts of crimes, such as phishing, hacking, or credit card fraud.
Scammers target any personal information and use it against you. For example, they value things like your Social Security number, password, passport number, telephone number, bank account details, or biometric information, such as fingerprints. Basically, anything that can be used to identify a person.
Cybercriminals steal such information to run up charges on credit cards, open new bank accounts, apply for passports, or use health insurance under a fake identity. Fraudsters can also file tax returns under a different name and receive refunds. So if you ever notice that your information was compromised and there are unexplained bank account withdrawals, it’s a major red flag and a clear clue that someone else is using your identity.
We Are Technology-Dependent
Everyone, from governments and societies to companies, is relying on technology. Special tools help manage data and automate processes for better efficiency. This isn’t a surprise, as even grocery shopping has become a digitized matter. With such a dramatic shift to the digital world, more threats are storming into the cyber landscape.
According to the World Economic Forum, 86% of US consumers say that data privacy is a growing concern. On top of that, 40% don’t trust companies with their personal information. That’s why such statistics should be a wake-up call for any business concerned about security and the company’s reputation.
Risk Assessment Is the Way To Go
Data is everywhere, and that’s a fact. If there’s identity theft, naturally, there is protection and prevention. Even though certain types of identity theft can’t be prevented, you can guard and monitor your information online without affecting your business’ reputation and with certainty that no thief will access your organization’s or your data.
The first step to protection for businesses is adequate risk assessment. You can prevent identity fraud by enrolling in an online identity theft protection service. For instance, such software helps manage fraud risks automatically by allotting scores based on the users’ activity. This tool evaluates fraud patterns by scanning databases, such as the Black market. Once that’s done, it determines if the fraud risk is high, medium, or low.
If a company receives the “High risk” alert, it’s an instant “Code red” – a sign that the business needs to take immediate action. In contrast, if the risk is “Low”, that means there’s no threat of identity theft, the user isn’t malicious, and the transaction can be resumed. Compared to traditional methods, AI-powered software is more powerful against fraud, as it detects the risks swiftly, avoiding human error.
Other Ways To Put A Stop To Identity Theft
Besides using special tools or software, you and your business’ employees can learn more about cybersecurity hygiene and other basic methods. Here are some examples that help prevent identity theft:
Monitor your bank account statements
The slightest changes that are suspicious can be a sign that someone else is using your credit card. At first, scammers withdraw small amounts to check if you wouldn’t notice their fraudulent behavior. Of course, such transactions can slip through without your knowledge; therefore, you should always keep a close eye on your personal as well as your company’s records.
Don’t throw away your documents
While dumpster diving might sound too old-fashioned and odd for some, this is an actual way to steal data. Solving this issue is easy, don’t throw old documents in one piece, shred them. Also if you need to keep important documents, stack the papers in a secure location, like a safe.
Install antivirus software
Antivirus software can detect and prevent malicious intents from hackers trying to access your information. Even if you’re aware of the risks and potential viruses, it’s best to use antivirus software for a complete security strategy. In case you’ve noticed that your smartphone or computer slowed down, crashed more often than usual, or the battery drained quicker, most likely, you’ve become a victim of malware that includes viruses.
Don’t recycle your passwords
“Password123” will not do the job. A secure one consists of various complex symbols. Don’t use the same password for all your business or personal accounts. Also, avoid inserting any personal information into your password, such as your social security number, birthday, pet’s name.
Scammers tend to target their victims and gather information from social media posts; this way, it makes it easier to crack the code and steal the password. As an extra layer of security, you can prevent identity theft by enabling Two-factor authentication (2FA).In this case, even if the password gets stolen, the fraudster won’t be able to log in to your account without your phone or fingerprint.
Almost everything’s digital these days. Artificial intelligence or blockchain technology provides businesses with tremendous opportunities, and they aren’t going away any time soon. Technology brings so many benefits to the table, including improved efficiency, productivity, and quality of life. Despite that, these capabilities expose us to fraud risks, and we need to be more vigilant regarding the digital space and its dangers.
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