It isn’t a pretty thing to have your identity stolen. Here are some facts and some advice. Each time we use the internet we are exposed to the risk of “Identity Theft”. These two words describe a situation when someone steals your personal information and uses it without your permission. It’s a serious crime that can wreak havoc with your finances, credit history, and reputation — and can take time, money, and patience to resolve.
It is used by crooks in many different ways. Some are obvious, like emptying your bank account, others are more sophisticated, like cashing out on government benefits or eluding the police. In 2013 there was an identity fraud in the US every 2 seconds. This year alone, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center, there were 368 big data breaches. That's up nearly 19 percent from the same period last year. The number of personal records exposed in 2014 thus far? Over 10 million in the US alone. And when it comes to dealing with it, half of the victims resolve it over a course of a day, but a third of them need a whole month.
Massive financial cost for victims
The amount of money being stolen by using ID theft are staggering – since 2010 the yearly sum revolves around 20 billion dollar and this money comes from the pockets of 68% of the victims that suffer direct and indirect losses, averaging $1700 per victim. In fact, this hurts consumers so much that lately Americans have developed a shred-a-thon – where friends and neighbors gather in the haze of grilling hot dogs and burgers as they feed their old papers to a community shredder.
While shredding papers can be a good measure of security and a fine source of barbeque fire, it is almost obsolete in the age of the digital world. Most ID theft nowadays are digital. In a digital world that encourages self-exhibitionism and when almost any financial transaction can be done online, stealing identity is even much easier.
Easy steps and our own easy solution
So how can you make yourself less vulnerable to Identity Theft, you ask. The consensus seems to be security and privacy, those two magical words that describes what we do here at Zenamte. *If you do buy online, the first thing you need to check is https. *It stands for an encrypted communication between you and the place where you shop.
The second thing to keep is to use a different password for each account you access online. This way, if someone knows your password for one account, they cannot access all of your information on other accounts. Having said that, the main way someone will get your password in the first place is by eavesdropping on your browser communication. So there is a strong need to protect your browser traffic.
The third step you need to do is to secure your network. Whether it is your home network or at work, it’s important to use a secure network that hackers will find hard to access. Some experts will send you checking the documentation for your wireless router so you can learn how to lock your router and encrypt your information, but we prefer just to offer you the easy one-click way: install our plugin, it will do the encryption for you and mask your identity in a way that will frustrate many ID thieves.
So how about it? Want to be a potential ID theft victim or not?