How To Protect Yourself From Computer Identity Theft

How To Protect Yourself From Computer Identity Theft



How To Protect Yourself From Computer Identity Theft
The FTC estimates that over nine million Americans have their identities stolen each year .​
This crime has a​ huge potential to​ disrupt your life,​ you might be denied a​ loan for education or​ housing,​ you may miss job opportunities,​ or​ in​ extreme cases,​ you might be arrested for a​ crime you did not commit.
One of​ the​ most common types of​ computer identity theft is​ called phishing .​
This is​ when you receive an​ email requesting your personal information from someone pretending to​ be a​ financial institution .​
The email appears to​ be from a​ business or​ agency that you may have had a​ reason to​ do business with in​ the​ past,​ such as​ the​ IRS,​ a​ credit card company,​ or​ EBay .​
The email explains that there has been a​ problem with your credit card,​ or​ there is​ a​ pending audit,​ and you need to​ reply to​ the​ email with the​ correct credit card information,​ or​ social security number to​ correct the​ problem.
As soon as​ you respond with the​ requested information,​ the​ computer identity theft begins .​
Your information could be sold online,​ or​ the​ scammer may use your identity to​ make online purchases,​ apply for loans,​ or​ to​ clear out your bank account .​
They might have the​ bills sent to​ a​ different address,​ so you won't even realize there is​ a​ problem until your good credit is​ ruined .​
They could use your name to​ get utilities such as​ telephone,​ heat,​ cable TV,​ or​ use your information to​ access your wireless internet account,​ and run up your charges .​
Your name could be used to​ file a​ fraudulent income tax return,​ or​ to​ obtain government benefits .​
The list of​ ways that computer identity theft can affect your life appears to​ increase daily.
Awareness is​ the​ most effective way to​ fight online identity theft .​
Share the​ knowledge that you need to​ protect your personal information and the​ potential for this type of​ crime with your friends and family .​
You should become familiar with anti-spy software programs for your computer .​
Research different types,​ and invest in​ one that works best for you .​
Run the​ program before you do any online financial transactions.
Don't open emails from people you don't know .​
If you receive an​ email from a​ financial institution that you do business with,​ go to​ their website,​ and check for any warnings about unauthorized emails being sent .​
You could also phone the​ institution to​ see if​ the​ email is​ legitimate.
Lastly,​ only do business online with secure sites .​
They will usually have a​ small symbol in​ the​ bottom right corner of​ your browser to​ show it​ is​ secure .​
Never use your social security number on​ the​ internet.
Following these tips will help you to​ protect yourself against computer identity theft .​
Unfortunately,​ it​ is​ becoming far too common; don't let yourself become the​ next victim.




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