Everyday things that are putting your identity at risk
Have you ever thought about how often you give out your personal information?
In today’s world, it’s hard to keep track of where and how often we provide our personal data, such as our phone number, address, email or even our date of birth. Many of us go about our day without knowing our personal information is exposed and what’s worse is we might even be the culprit of potentially putting our identity at risk.
Let’s take Floyd as an example:
Floyd wakes up in the morning and replies to a few emails before heading out to the gym. Later, he joins his friends over brunch and shares a post on Facebook. He then returns home and did some online shopping.
While Floyd’s day seems fairly ordinary, when we take a deeper look, his actions throughout the day could have exposed his personal information, leading him to be an open target to identity theft. Here’s how:
1. Floyd replied to an email which asked for his personal information
This email could’ve been a phishing email, asking Floyd to verify his bank account details due to a possible fraudulent activity detected on his account. Phishing messages are designed to look genuine and scammers often replicate the format used by the financial institution, including their branding and logo to lure you into believing they’re the real deal.
2. Floyd put his details down for a giveaway competition at the gym
Writing down your name and email address on an unsupervised board at the gym can easily put you in a vulnerable position because fraudsters can use this information to carry out malicious activities and even sell your email address on the dark web for profit.
3. Floyd made an online transfer to his friend for his share of the meal over public Wi-Fi
Doing your online banking over unsecured Wi-Fi means cybercriminals who create fake captive portals, can easily intercept anything you send to that website.
4. Floyd forgot his social media account settings were set to public
When your social profile is open to the public, personal details (like your date of birth) and posts you share including your whereabouts and photos can potentially be extracted by identity thieves to carry out criminal activities.
5. Floyd bought a pair of designer sneakers from an unknown retail website
Online shopping scams involve scammers pretending to be legitimate online sellers, either with a fake website or a fake ad on a genuine retailer site.
Remember, thieves and hackers can strike anywhere and at any time, so it pays to be mindful of how your personal information is being stored and handled. The more aware you are of protecting your personal data, the easier you’ll be able to identify malicious acts and find ways to prevent them from happening.
In a digital world, all of us are at some risk of our personal data being exposed. To have peace of mind you can sign up to Credit Savvy for your free credit score and receive alerts whenever there are changes to your credit file to help you spot identity theft and fraud.