The internet is a great place, allowing those across the globe to connect, share ideas, make purchases, and find information with the touch of a finger. While there are so many facets of the digital age that are helpful and irreplaceable, technology has also changed the way theft happens. Unfortunately, online identity theft is not uncommon due to the number of ways hackers can access sensitive information. The following blog explores how you can protect yourself when surfing the web and how a California identity theft victim lawyer can help you navigate any issues you may have.
How Does Online Identity Theft Happen?
There are many ways thieves and hackers can access your personal information, so familiarizing yourself with these methods is essential. One of the most common ways thieves steal data is by accessing unsecured wifi networks, which are often free for public use. Because there are no security measures, using these networks leaves the information on your device vulnerable to anyone who can access the wifi.
However, your information may also be compromised during a data breach. When you register with companies for rewards programs, loans, or purchases, the information used to sign up is protected by encryption. However, sophisticated hackers can bypass these measures if they are not strong enough, accessing the data of millions at a time. This means your name, birthday, email, passwords, payment information, and more can be taken from a secure site. Often, these hackers will sell this data for others to use.
Other methods used to steal information include phishing scams. Often, thieves will send you a text message or email pretending to be your bank or credit card company. These usually come with a link and warning that your account has been compromised, and you must log in to fix the issue. Clicking this link will likely take you to a fake website that steals your information when you attempt to log in.
What Can I Do to Protect Myself?
Luckily, there are measures you can take to protect yourself when online. This includes verifying any suspicious communications you receive with your bank or credit card company, looking for signs that a website may be illegitimate, using strong passwords, and regularly checking your credit report.
Checking your credit report is essential, as it can alert you to any suspicious information. For example, if you notice a credit card you never opened on the report, you can inform the reporting companies to place a credit freeze, preventing further theft from occurring until you can get the discrepancy remedied.
If you’ve been the victim of theft, you may not know where to turn or how to proceed. Luckily, the law is on your side as a consumer. However, you should enlist the help of Loker Law to get any issues with your credit report sorted quickly. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you receive financial security if your information has been compromised.