Just because you feel as if you have nothing to hide does not mean that you should just ignore privacy and security. You may think that privacy only applies to an individual, but society, as a whole, needs privacy. There is what you call collective privacy.
However, with the help of the Internet, we are all now connected. There are no barriers that separate from each other. The Internet may have help us to stay connected despite the differences of geographical location, but it has also exposed us to some risks such as identity theft.
Below, I will discuss several information that will help protect you and the people around you. If you need some personal protective tips, I suggest that you read about the 8 Tips in Protecting Yourself Against Identity Theft.
1. Limit your online presence.
- Oversharing can be bad for you. Please try to avoid sharing too much on social media. You see, some people tend to post about their every move. Nope, not a good practice. Not everyone needs to know you ordered scones at Starbucks or you went to the Hamptons last weekend.
- Hackers don’t magically get into your devices. Most of the time, they study a potential target. If your your social media is visible to the public, then they can easily snoop for details such as your name, location, birthday, pet name, email, and so on. Just by looking at your profile, which you made available to the public, cybercriminals can easily piece the details together.
- Be careful with your digital footprints. If you can avoid social media, please do so. If you can’t, please set a limit on what you share online.
2. Help protect the vulnerable population.
- As a young professional, you are probably well-versed about the tactics of these cybercriminals. Remember, the kids and elders can victims of identity theft too. Criminals know that children is an easier prey because they tend to be trusting with everyone they meet.
- If you have kids at home, don’t let them use too much gadgets. Let them play actual games instead. If they have to use a computer for homework, be there to guide them. You can also enable the parental control over these mobile devices and even your internet connection.
- The same goes for the elderly people because they tend to trust others easily. The Internet is a new thing to them; they may not completely understand the ramifications of their actions online. Whether you live with an elderly or a minor, please inform them about the dangers that lurk online.
3. Don’t just focus on online protection.
- Identity theft can happen online, but it can also occur offline too. So, you have to destroy or shred documents before throwing them away. Often times, we just junk letters and mails straight to the trash. Please shred bank statements and other financial reports before discarding them.
4. Identity theft through data breaches
- You may exercise extra precaution, but cybercriminals can still acquire your personal data through data breaches. They may not go after you, but they will go after huge multinational companies. For instance, just look at the Equifax data breach. One breach affected roughly 150 million people. 56% of this number consisted of Americans.
- That’s why putting an additional layer of protection may lessen the chances of identity theft. If there are features to send you alerts, activate these options. Moreover, you can enable two-factor authentication. Logging in will not only ask for your username and password, but a unique code is also sent to your email or mobile device for further validation.