Identity theft in the age of technology is a much greater concern than ever before. Sure, there are still scam artists who will peek over your shoulder at your PIN number or root through trash to find discarded bank statements and personal documents. But by and large, the greatest threat to your identity is online. Here are 3 common ways that people fall victim to identity theft online and how you can work to prevent it.
Email Phishing Scams
In the last few years, email scams have gotten even more sophisticated. What used to be obviously false, like princes asking for money, have become intricate look-alikes to emails you may actually get. Email scams can look like a store you shop at regularly, your bank, or even other accounts you may have.
Solution: Never ever click on a link you didn’t request or aren’t sure about. If you get a link you weren’t expecting, say from a professional agency you are involved in, don’t hesitate to call and ask for confirmation that it came from them before you click it.
If you run a search on a typical search engine, you may come across some websites that are not reputable. Some red flags to look for on a website are lots of pop-up ads, offers that seem too good to be true, and an indicator from your browser that a website may not be safe. Any of these are signs to not give any personal information to this site—even if it’s just your email address.
Solution: Look for the lock icon or the “https” at the front of the url. Both of these things indicate secure connections.
Credit Card Theft
Stolen credit card information can happen online or in real life. Because many people use credit cards often in their daily transactions, it’s a relatively easy target. At a store or restaurant, your card numbers could be manually lifted off the card itself. They could also be stripped off through a skimmer on an ATM or card reader. Online, it could be as simple as you pressing a button assuming a purchase is secure.
Solution: Don’t let your credit card out of your site—opt for the ability to swipe your card yourself in person. If you’re online, don’t buy from a site that doesn’t have the “https” or lock icon we talked about in the previous point.
The most important thing is to remember the trail. In the days of cloud storage, one door could potentially open up an entire world of your personal information. Treat every interaction with the same level of scrutiny and security.
And, because life and the internet are both unpredictable, it helps to have something you can lean on no matter what. Our insurance advisors can help set you up with identity theft coverage for peace of mind.CONTACT AN INSURANCE ADVISOR