According to a survey as described in an article in the security magazine, UK was hard hit with the cases of identity fraud in 2017 and the number is still on the rise. In fact, the problem is no more curtailed in one country. The landscape of identity theft is spreading its wings in Canada and many other countries globally.
So, what is this new threat and how is it a global concern? Well, identify theft is carried out by stealing very specific details about the users. The details include specifics like full name, address, virtual identity, and even much more advanced information like loan amount (if any), gross unpaid EMI and bills (if any), and much more. Clearly, such accurate information is too hard to be overlooked. When a user receives emails with such authentic information from sources that look genuine, they usually end up disclosing their bank account details and/or debit and Credit card numbers. This information is then missed by unethical hackers. In fact, statistically speaking, the users who have fallen to such attacks that include bank account theft are mostly senior citizens since they’re the least aware targets.
Such security concerns are still alarming because unethical hackers are becoming more target-specific. They incorporate fraudulent malicious links in the URLs of the links that look just like the URLs of genuine websites, for example, ‘w’ can be replaced by ‘w’ in Latin. Both words look identical but are entirely different, and practically undetectable to human eyes. Thus, it’s important that users follow clean cyber hygiene habits to reduce such cyber security concerns. Some such effective techniques include the following.
- Do not leave your digital footprint behind. Instead, use a single digital identity so that there’s a lesser risk that your virtual identity can be passed without your permission.
- Always use system password, drive password, and application password. It reduces the risk that hackers will be able to penetrate so deep.
- Ensure that the sensitive information stored in the files is encrypted. One example of the application that requires encryption is the ‘password manager’. Encrypt the files that you store within since it contains all the passwords to all your devices and accounts.
- Do not entertain any email asking for your bank details. Banks will never ask for such information. Instead, visit the branch if you feel that the email you received could have been from genuine sources.