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Identity theft - how to protect your data from fraudulent attempts?

What is digital identity theft and how to protect your data on the Internet. How to protect yourself for those who use Internet services and applications every day

October 19, 2020

What is digital identity theft and how to protect your data on the Internet. How to protect yourself for those who use Internet services and applications every day.

The Internet is definitely a wonderful invention that makes our life much easier. But the more we use it, the more we need to think about how to protect our personal data from hackers and other types of cybercriminals. There are many known ways to maliciously use personal data. For example, spammers and phishers can use your first and last name when sending messages.

Identity theft is understood as the illegal seizure of personal information and personal data, which are most often used to obtain further benefits. With the development of Internet technologies, there has been an active growth in the illegal interest of various attackers in user data. Most often, stolen data is used to access services that do not require the personal presence of a particular user. These can be bank transfers through apps, purchases of consumer goods from online stores, etc. Some criminals deliberately try to take over access to pages on social networks in order to further use personal information, data from correspondence or photographs for blackmail or denigration.

What are the options for identity theft?

There are several types of identity theft. The most common option is financial fraud. Attackers can use various options and methods to obtain money illegally. More often than not, hackers break access to various user databases. This data is resold, and personal information is needed to produce fake documents, obtain loans and process.

In some cases, fraudsters steal personal data with access to pages on a social network in order to send messages about requests for financial assistance.

Criminal identity theft stands out separately. In this case, fraudsters are trying to get hold of the documents and data that are presented in them. A striking example is SNILS in Russia or a social security number in the United States, access to which allows you to carry out some banking transactions without the knowledge of the owner. As a result, victims begin to face unpaid bills, loans and a variety of legal claims.

Identity theft

Most often, such a scheme is implemented by criminals who are hiding from the law, creditors or trying to illegally register in the country. A similar scheme is also used by persons wishing to maintain their anonymity in various situations. In the same way, fake celebrities can be created who are tricked into collecting money for various concerts.

Theft of medical data

They are necessary for the illegal purchase of various drugs that can be sold in pharmacies only with a doctor's prescription. We are talking not only about narcotic substances, but also various potent drugs, which in the future will be sold at an inflated price.

Who could be the potential victim?

In fact, any person can become a victim of criminals, regardless of social status, age and gender. To obtain the necessary information, various programs distributed on the network can be used.According to experts, the most common victims are:

  • active users of various gadgets with Internet access;
  • users who disregard technical safety rules, including those who have refused to use anti-virus programs;
  • media personalities who are regularly in correspondence with various people;
  • people regularly filling out questionnaires and participating in social surveys.

The list does not end there, but according to the experience of law enforcement agencies, these individuals most often come under the attention of scammers.

Identity theft can occur as a result of the following:

  • stealing data from various government agencies, including educational or law enforcement agencies;
  • theft of documents, bank cards or checks;
  • theft, less often fake, biometric data, which include fingerprints or retinal scans.

At least often, the victim's gadgets are infected with malicious programs that harm the devices by stealing the necessary data.

How to protect yourself and your data

First of all, treat any personal information with care. Even when filling out any questionnaire, make sure that your data cannot be leaked to hackers. Therefore, do not go through questionable surveys that require an excessive amount of personal information. Also, take care of originals and copies of documents, even on their basis, attackers can open various organizations in order to then receive money from other clients.

In addition, do not forget to regularly update passwords for your mail accounts and various pages on social networks. Also, do not upload photos of expensive purchases, your home phone. It is not recommended to give free access to any information about your well-being. Otherwise, intruders may become interested in your identity. Keep a close eye on what information you provide to the public, so you can protect yourself.