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Identity Theft

Busting myths regarding Identity Theft

Internet never fails to amaze us. You can get different sorts of information almost about everything and that too within second but here’s the catch! How much of that information is actually not a myth? And when it comes to any cybercrime we must be very much aware of the facts and myths. Talking about identity theft many people think this can’t or won’t happen to them because of many myths they have read and heard through different sources.

But you should know that identity theft is real and anyone, I repeat, anyone can be under the radar of cyber attackers. It is important that we differentiate myths from the facts so that you can protect yourselves from such frauds and thefts and even if you become their victim, how can you fight back?  In this article we will see some of the common myths about identity theft.

Identity Theft

The kind of crime by which one can obtain personal or financial information of any other person with the intention of using that information for making purchases or transactions is identity theft. If you think identity theft is bad you should have a look here:

  1. Identity theft can cause financial hardships to the victims which can have a lasting effect for years. After our personal information is exposed, attackers can have access to your bank accounts which can affect your mortgage, retirement and even your/your child’s education.
  2. Emotional toll is also a possibility when an identity theft is attempted. You can feel a rush of emotions, firstly anger or shock. Such crimes can have an effect on your emotional health and reputation.
  3. Once he attacker has all your login information they can have access to your social media accounts. Hackers can damage your reputation in front of your friends and distant family members. They can use your current accounts or make a new account on your name and continue to talk to your contacts. They can even ask for financial assistance by using your name which will in turn tarnish your reputation.
Identity Theft

Common Myths

Antivirus software provides protection against identity theft :

If you think your antivirus is going to protect you from identity theft then you are wrong. Most of the antivirus provides protection against a certain amount of Malware. Nothing in this world can give 100% result, so how can you think about being 100% protected with your antivirus software? It’s a fact that antivirus can protect your system from the known malware and not the new ones.

You can easily fix identity theft :

Many of you think that identity theft isn’t a serious problem but just an annoying situation, you’ll get your money back and it will be fine soon. When talking about credit card companies you may get restitution for fraudulent charges but credit card fraud is one type of fraud. There are other types of threats too including getting medical treatment on your health insurance, draining your bank account or even opening a new bank account in your name. As mentioned before it can take serious emotional toll on the victims.

My personal information isn’t important for the attacker :

All your sensitive and personal information like name, address, phone number, email id and passwords, bank account details and more, everything is valuable to the attacker. They will try to use all the information as much as they can. Using your mails they can infect your contacts, phish people by pretending to be you and what not. So next time if you think sharing your personal information won’t do any harm, think again and think correct.

I’ll know if my identity gets stolen :

I check my credit card statement every month, isn’t it enough to prevent identity theft? No. it isn’t. What if the attackers open new accounts in your name? You won’t even get to know about it as it will not appear on your current bank account statement.  Make sure to get credit report from each of the major bureaus at least once a year.

Small business can’t be the target of attackers :

Attackers can choose their victim from any organization or business, be it on a large or small scale. Everyone is at equal risk. In 2012, Trend Micro gave a report stating that more than 60% of the small organizations don’t have encrypted data. And around 62% of such organizations do not make routine backups of their data. Hackers can target small business because they know such business don’t pay much time and resource for cyber security. That’s why small organizations are at a risk of being aggressively targeted with cyber attacks. If you own a business then it is your duty to secure your business from any kind of threat. And as a shopper you must have a look at the company and their cyber security measures before sharing your personal data and payment methods.