Five simple ways to prevent identity theft in 2023 December 21, 2022

The internet has made communication easier and faster. It’s accelerated the pace of business and allowed people to find their voices and express themselves through social media. Unfortunately, is not all sunshine and rainbows, the digital era also come up with dark shadows, and one of them is identity theft.

Have you ever thought about someone stealing your identity by having access to your data through the internet? This is now possible and has become one of the worst nightmares of some people. According to Statista, In 2021, around 1,434,676 complaints of identity theft were filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States. Shocking, right?

Therefore, if you haven't implemented measures to protect your personal information through the internet, 2023 is an excellent year to start. Keep reading and find out simple ways to prevent identity theft.

Ways to prevent identity theft in 2023

1. Avoid public wi-fi

Unfortunately, hackers can easily compromise and infiltrate public wi-fi networks, intercepting any of the information that you input while connected. This is why, if you ever HAVE to connect to public wi-fi, it is imperative to never access any sensitive accounts. This includes your email, financial accounts, and any online shopping.

A VPN (a virtual private network) is another great way to protect your online identity. It creates an encrypted tunnel between your computer and the VPN server, which helps keep your data safe from hackers and identity thieves. They come in especially handy if you’re using public WiFi in places like airports and cafes, where hackers can easily snoop on your online activities without you knowing.

You might want to read: Tips to Avoid Fraud and Have a Safe Online Shopping This Holiday Season

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2.Freeze your credit

If you've recognized a clear warning sign of identity theft, you should initiate a credit freeze on your credit file with the three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. This prevents any fake "you" from applying for new credit in your name.

It’s free to place, and you can temporarily lift the freeze if you need to apply for new credit, it will prevent both you and identity thieves from getting a loan!

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3. Be on guard against phishing, smishing, and vishing

Phishing scams are at an all-time high. Identity thieves are often imposters who use emails, text messages, and phone calls to get your data and your money. Emails or text messages may have the appearance of a trustworthy source but can turn out to be convincingly fake. Each time you open a spam email and click on a suspicious link, you're rolling the dice.

This applies to text messages as well. If you get an unsolicited text message with a link to "claim your prize" just delete the text, block the number and move on.

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4. Routinely review your financial & medical statements

One of the best ways to protect yourself from identity theft is to keep an eye on your credit report. Doing so means you’re more likely to catch any suspicious activity early, which can minimize damage and save you from headaches. Typically, the earlier fraudulent activity is caught, the easier it is to resolve and have the charges removed.

Also read: Can You See Me Now? A blog about taking care of your digital footprint

You can get a free copy of your credit report every year from annualcreditreport.com, and it’s a good idea to check it for any suspicious activity. Also, the bureaus provide tools to help you monitor your credit, such as alerts to notify you of key changes. Ideally, pull your report from the bureaus at different times throughout the year so you are continually monitoring activity.

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5. Use complex passwords and two-factor authentication

Reusing the same old, easily guessable, recycled passwords for multiple online accounts is a recipe for disaster. Expert hackers have developed advanced techniques for password cracking, so don't make it any easier on them. You should update your passwords so that they consist of a random combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.

Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of password security and can be enabled for email, social media accounts, bank accounts, and credit cards. It requires multiple identifiers to unlock an account, including combinations of the following:

  • A PIN code or password
  • A possession, like a smartphone or other device
  • A biometric characteristic, like a fingerprint or voice print.

Even if your password is stolen, 2FA prevents criminals from accessing your account without your smartphone, voiceprint, or fingerprint. One example of 2FA involves signing into an account with a password, then receiving a text message with a code you must enter to get into the account.

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Pro tip: Store information in a safe place

Try to not forget how important your personal information is, which also needs a special place to be safe and far away from identity thieves. Dedicate time to gathering all your data and define a place to protect, not only physical storage but also a digital one. In this last option, we can be your safety ally.

HelpYouFind.Me is a private, secure, and convenient digital storage for all of your most sensitive information that can be shared using customizable access rules with the people you trust the most. All private data is end-to-end encrypted meaning only you, and your authorized recipient can read it, giving you peace of mind that your data is safe and secure. Not even HYF.M can access it. Having all your relevant information in one safe place will avoid it ends in the wrong hands.

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Also when you open an HYF.M account you will discover more safety features, for example, with our telegram bot you will be able to share your current location. Your loved ones need to know where you are, how to contact you, and that you are safe. Whether you’re traveling abroad, in a new city, or just looking to reconnect before returning home, HelpYouFind.Me can help!

Ready to dive in? Start your free trial today.

Written by
Vanessa Martínez

Vanessa Martínez

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