Startling new statistics have revealed that identity theft has increased by 57 per cent since last year. This is according to research by Cifas, a fraud prevention service.
Cifas has labelled the likes of LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook a ‘hunting ground’ for identity thieves. They also revealed that 85 per cent of the frauds were carried out on the Internet, and that most cases involved the fraudster accessing details about the person, including their date of birth, name, bank details, and address, and then assuming their identity, as opposed to cases involving fictitious identities. Most fraudsters pieced together identities using social media, with few hacking computers to carry out the theft.
This highlights the importance of being extra cautious when online nowadays. People need to think about the details they share online, and you should check your privacy levels to ensure high levels of security.
How you could be putting your ID at risk
Identity theft is rife at the moment. Unfortunately, we live in a day and age whereby we need to do all in our power to protect our personal information. You could be putting your ID at risk without realising it.
Nowadays, a lot of fraudsters use social media to get the information they need to assume someone’s identity. They find out an individual’s birthday, address, and full name, for example, and then piece together the rest. If you over-share on social media, you could be putting your identity at risk. You also need to avoid using passwords that can be guessed with ease, such as your birthday or your pet’s name. Instead, use a combination of lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters, and make sure you do not share passwords for your social media accounts, email or smartphone.
You could also be putting yourself at risk if you carry all of your credit cards in your purse or wallet. If you lose this, you’ll be in an extremely vulnerable position. Instead, only carry what you need. You also should avoid keeping account statements and any mail that contains personal information lying around the house. Shred documents so no one can obtain your personal details.
Fraud protection for businesses
For businesses, it is imperative to put steps in place to protect your company from the threat of fraud. There are a number of ways you can do this; from penetration testing to identity access management solutions. There is no singular solution when it comes to security at your business. The best approach is to use a number of different methods to ensure security is layered. This is a must. You need to have numerous defences, making it harder for cybercriminals to breakthrough.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of identity fraud and the steps that you need to protect yourself – both as an individual and when running a business. The importance of this cannot be overlooked in the current day and age.