Identity theft is becoming an extreme menace that can’t be contained, but it could definitely be stayed away from. A person needs to keep himself alert at all times, while he uses the web for his work or monetary transactions. The possibility of social security theft is also on a rise because it gives the identity thief; an endless series of advantages at the victim’s cost. Now this may sound difficult, but it does happen to often now.
There are many simple and complex methods that an identity thief would use, in order to carry out his sinister plans. Here is some of his possible modus operandi.
- Hacking into employer’s database and taking the personal information
When someone joins a company for work, they also give information about themself, which includes previous job details and experience. It also includes his social security information, so the income tax department may be informed about the transactions of salary that happens between employer and employee. If the database is hacked, the information could be stolen and misused.
- Phishing emails and phishing websites
At times, it appears that genuine email has come from a reputable firm or lottery agency and the recipient has won a great amount of money. On the other hand, it’s a phishing website that appears the same as the site of financial institution, which the target victim uses. Once someone clicks on this email or website and provide their personal details or login, with username and password; he is trapped. Now the hacker could get all the necessary details they require.
- Personal computer hacking
This is the most used method by the identity thieves, which has been in use for many years now. This old trick is worked upon by hacking into someone’s computer through internet. When the system doesn’t have a good antivirus, then the possibility of being infected by a spy bug, which has been sent by an identity thief; increase. These hackers can easily access everything, even the deleted files in the system.
- Social networking websites
It is the most open and common place, from where a thief could get all the personal information he needs. People post all their personal details, such as addresses, birthdays, full names, photos, locations and more. This is a great source of material to prepare a social profile for a thief. But it harms the actual person posting it. Hence, one must never post too much information on social media.
It is an old method by which a professional burglar would not just steal the valuables, but also the important document. And to hide the actual theft of information, the thief would start the house on fire. This way the owner or the victim gets the documents reissued, without knowing that the originals never got burnt in the first place. The stolen documents are then used by the identity thief for his own benefit.
A Few Things to Remember
Identity security is indeed a great matter to take care of, but people seldom pay attention to it. Here are few ways one could protect his identity from being stolen.
- Never give away information to strangers
A lot of time it happens that a phone call comes from the bank, asking for account details because there has been a problem with the banking that the victim may have transacted lately. However, there is no bank that call clients and asks for information, but whosoever falls in this trap; pays dearly. Never give away any personal information pertaining to finance to strangers on the phone.
- Keep data closer and digital media closer
One must always keep their information stored in a safe place, which could be accessed only by them. On the other hand, they must also keep all Smartphone, laptop, external hard drives, computer and pen-drives with them. These things should never be bestowed upon someone new.
- Be updated
One always keeps abreast with the latest news on identity theft. It will give them a good outlook on the possibilities of identity theft. An alert person could always avert the dangers of being manipulated by the information stolen and used.
In short, social security details may be stolen anytime, but a vigil eye on the financial reports and bank statements every month or once in a while; would keep a person alert and safe.