6 Steps to Staying Safe Online with Enhanced Identity Theft Protection
Staying safe online today is not as simple as it used to be. Without enhanced identity theft protection, you are leaving yourself exposed to the risk of identity theft. The 2016 Identity Fraud Study found that $15 billion was stolen from 13.1 million US consumers in 2015 by identity thieves.
The following shows the prevalence of each type of identity theft:
- 50% – government documents or benefits fraud
- 15.8% – credit card fraud
- 9.9% – phone or utilities fraud
- 5.9% – bank fraud
- 3.7% – attempted identity theft
- 3.5% – loan fraud
- 3.3% – employment-related fraud
- 19.2% – other identity theft
Today’s cyber criminals can use automated bot technologies to get round some of the fraud protection and identity protection services that websites and apps claim to offer.
How to Implement Enhanced Identity Theft Protection
There are 6 simple steps to protect your identity:
1. Protect your devices.
All your computers, smartphones and home devices should be updated with the latest software upgrades and security patches. It goes without saying that everything should be protected with robust anti-virus software that can detect the latest viruses and scams being spread around the internet.
2. Choose a strong password
Everyone knows that choosing a strong password for an online account is the first barrier of defense against hackers. This means choosing a password that:
- Can’t easily be guessed
- Is more than 10 characters long
- Combination of letters, characters and symbols
- Updated on a regular basis
Also, just setting a strong password is not good enough. You should know how to change your Facebook password if hacked-or any other password, for that matter.
3. Be wary with your online activity
Keep yourself updated on the latest scams. The latest one to hit the news is the Gmail scam which fools users to divulge their Google log-in credentials. Be suspicious of any unsolicited contacts, fake profiles and requests for your credit card details. Before you open an email attachment make sure that you know it’s coming from a trusted and respected source. Frequently scammers use legitimate looking websites designed to entice you to give away your personal information in return for something free.
4. Use a continuous monitoring service
Enhanced identity theft protection requires constant monitoring of all your devices, and your usage patterns. Trying to do this yourself across many devices may seem like an impossible task. Protection app service providers such as LogDog for iOS or Android use a databank of parameters to monitor your accounts and usage behavior on a 24 hour basis in order to pick up any unusual or suspicious activity.
5. Take notice of alerts
If a website, app or protection service sends you a credit alert, take immediate steps to verify if this is a real and permitted transaction. Protecting yourself from fraud only works if you immediately contact the website owner of unauthorized activity on your account. Identity protection only works if you immediately change your password, and take steps to regain control of your identity. Service providers like LogDog have the experience to guide you through these situations.
6. Use a credit card fraud protection service
Protecting your credit card whilst buying online can be quite risky. To be 100% safe, use a credit protection service like LogDog’s CardProtector that offers a credit fraud detector. If your credit card is picked up on the black market, you will be sent a fraud alert enabling you to freeze the stolen card.
In today’s world, an enhanced identity theft protection service has to use intelligent technology to keep ahead of the smartest hackers and scammers. A multi-account protection app like LogDog can offer you a watertight safety guarantee against fraud, and full credit protection.