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Top Ways to Prevent Identity Theft and Online Fraud

Staying alert to new and more deadly threats, putting the right shields and barriers in place and always protecting your personal details can reduce your chances of a cyber-attack.

Updated:March 12, 2019, 5:24 PM IST
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Top Ways to Prevent Identity Theft and Online Fraud
Staying alert to new and more deadly threats, putting the right shields and barriers in place and always protecting your personal details can reduce your chances of a cyber-attack.
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Anyone can be a victim of online fraud. But how can make sure it's not you?

The internet throws up thousands of new scams every month and while you can’t keep track of all of them you should learn how to use the internet as safely as possible. Keeping these top tips in mind the next time you’re online can go a long way to protecting your data from cyber criminals and keeping you safe.

Keep your friends close and your details closer

While social media channels and platforms encourage users to share personal information with the public to gain followers and endorsements, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. This means that cyber criminals can gain access to everything from your birthday to your family and pets names freely and easily. Avoid oversharing your life’s details and location online to keep hackers from using it to compile your personal profile and gain access to everything from your banking details to the whereabouts of your family and children.

Photo by Adrianna Calvo from Pexels

Don’t go phish

Our inboxes get spammed with hundreds of emails every day from various subscription newsletters and communication from our other services. So how can you tell if the email in front of you is from a verifiable source. As a rule, try to never trust anything online. Scam emails have a few common markers. Watch for incorrect logos, poor spellings and for the actual content of your email. Emails that suddenly tell you about your million-dollar wins should be deleted immediately.

Never click on links directly from your email. Always type out the link in a new browser or go to your banks official website to check out a service promoted via email. When in doubt, contact your service representative to verify the legitimacy of an offer to be sure. An additional thing to watch for is emails that ask you to transfer money to a known family member in need. NEVER do it! There are several such scams that prey on the ignorance and sympathies of well-meaning people around the world.

Be Careful In Public

When you’re in public the best thing would be not to transact or use personal information at all. If you must, only log in from a personal device and preferably skip the public or free coffee shop WiFi. Mobile data services might be slower but they are far safer than any unsecured networks. Public devices and networks make you vulnerable to sophisticated hackers who can use everything from key skimmers to malware that can transfer your details without your knowledge. Most importantly, don’t forget to log out when done.

Double Check Before Donating

In the aftermath of any natural calamities and other catastrophes several aid and help organisations emerge. While most of these could be legitimate, never donate online without doing some research to verify if they are real or just virtual mirages.

Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

Protect Your Physical Device

Your phone and tablet devices hold much more sensitive data than our personal journals and diaries. Pin/password or pattern locking your device can be the one of the most important things you can do to safeguard your information in case your device falls into the wrong hands. As far as possible, keep your devices on you in public and never leave them unattended especially in places of high-foot traffic like bars, restaurants, hospitals and airports.

Level Up Your Protection

Installing registered anti-virus software and setting up relevant firewalls are among the very first things you should do when you have a new device. Tedious as it might seem, download and install all updates to avoid your devices being overrun by nasty viruses.

Shop safely

Ecommerce is booming and being able to buy something while on your lunch break, waiting for a bus or from virtually anywhere makes things incredibly convenient for both you and hackers who are lying in wait. Make every shopping or even bill payment a pleasant one by always ensuring your web page address starts with ‘https’ and displays the ‘padlock’ symbol. Otherwise you risk identity and other kinds of theft at any time.

Staying alert to new and more deadly threats, putting the right shields and barriers in place and always protecting your personal details can reduce your chances of a cyber-attack and ensure you get the most use out of all your transactions and activities without falling prey to hackers and crooks online.

To know more, click here.

This content has been created in association with YONO SBI.

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