7 tips to protect your identity online

Author: ME

Published at: 6/21/2016 3:29:35 PM

 

Ed 7 Ways To Protect Your Identity Online

 

Almost four millions Australians have been a victim of fraud. Don’t let it happen to you.

 

Australians have taken to online shopping and social media like ducks to water. But it’s also opened an online playground that lets hackers and cyber crooks steal our identities – if we’re not careful.


It turns out one in four us – that’s 3.8 million Australians – have been victims of identity theft . That’s when cyber crooks assume their victim’s identity and either clean out their bank accounts, apply for loans in the victim’s name, or use the victim’s credit card details to rack up some retail therapy – all at the victim’s expense.


The scary part is that most people only discover their identity has been stolen when they see unfamiliar transactions on their account statements.


The good news is that some basic precautions can help to protect you from identity theft, and it’s one area an ounce of prevention is worth a tonne of cure.


Take a look at our 7 simple steps to stay one step ahead of cyber crooks.

 

  1. File and store financial statements – believe it or not, crooks often discover your account details by stealing mail or rummaging through garbage for bank statements. Organise e-statements and store the files on your PC, or if you prefer snail mail put a lock on the letterbox.

  2. Change your online passwords regularly - please, make it a password that’s hard to guess.

  3. Don’t give everything away on social media - one in three (32%) people publish their full date of birth on social media profiles. Cyber crims will love you for it – your date of birth is a key piece of data used to verify identity. 

  4. Update your anti-virus software regularly – once is not enough. Crooks are constantly aiming to beat the system. 

  5. Shop safe – use an escrow system like PayPal for online payments, and only shop at secure websites – those with a web address starting with HTTPS.

  6. Review account statements regularly – if you come across a suspicious or unfamiliar transaction let your bank know immediately.

  7. Check your credit report at least annually – any applications for credit made in your name will appear on your personal credit record. With credit reference agencies like D&B, Veda and Experian you are usually entitled to one free copy of your report each year.


Learn more about your credit history and why it’s so important, plus a whole lot more, at ed – ME's fast, fun and free school of online money management.

 

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