Monday 30 May 2016

Here are the top five tactics used by cyber criminals to steal your identity

One fine morning you may wake up to a reality called identity theft. While stealing someone’s identity is not legal, there are several tricky but legal methods scammers and hackers use which can expose you to identity theft as well. The first step to stop this worrying scenario is to be aware of the more common data collection schemes that can render you susceptible.
Provided below are the five tactics you should be aware of so you can keep your identity as well as saneness in check.

Social media spying

People have started sharing more about their personal lives over the internet than ever before with the emergence of social media. While you can virtually connect with long-lost friends and relatives through the social media, it also makes it simpler for a scammer or hacker to get hold of your personal information that could lead to identity theft. Generally, if you decide to reveal identifying information like your birthday or any other personal details, it is suggested that you keep your profile settings private and wisely contemplate the consequences of anything you post. For instance, bragging about your vacation could signal to a thief that personal information is being left unguarded at home or the mail is unattended.

Social engineering

Some scammers and hackers will create traps that depend mainly on human interaction to gain access instead of spending their time trying to guess or track down your personal information. This tactic is known as “social engineering.” They often portray themselves as a genuine person or company that is looking for information, social engineering tricks depend on people’s curiosity and trust to be successful. You may want to be cautious of “urgent” emails looking to confirm your login information or doubtful social media friend requests.

Tapping into your old hard drive or computer

Don’t just simply give away your old computer with the existing hard drive intact, if you are looking to sell or discard it. You could be unintentionally handing over the keys to information to the thieves that are needed to assume your identity. Ensure that the physical hard drive is replaced and destroyed before you throw out or upgrade an old machine.

Malware-based phishing

There are chances that you might be more vulnerable to scams masked as “fixes” to the problem when you feel that your computer has been taken over by malware. If you feel that your computer has been infected or has downloaded illegal content and if you are offered an instant solution to the problem, then think twice. You may actually end up installing the attacker’s malware instead.

Vishing, or “voice phishing”

Voice phishing or “vishing” scams are voicemails or robocalls that often pose as companies or government agencies with an unrelenting necessity meant to supersede your natural caution. They will want you to disclose important identifying information like your social security or credit card number quickly over the phone. Word of caution: a reliable organization will never function this way.

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