The accessibility and usage of the internet, in general, has increased dramatically over the years. Normal, everyday functions are incomplete without the internet. This makes people more prone to fall for internet fraud including online identity theft and credit card fraud. With the proliferation of social media in people’s lives, it is becoming more and more difficult to protect one’s personal information. However, with some precautions and common sense, it is possible to protect your identity online and therefore protect yourself from internet scams.
Destroy all Personal Documents after Use
Banks often send you your credit card and bank statements via mail. Such statements tend to have all your personal information including your account and credit card numbers, address, name and phone numbers etc. All an identity thief needs are such information to impersonate you online to gain various benefits.
Make sure to destroy all such information by shredding it properly. Additionally, make sure to destroy your expired ID cards, driver’s licenses, credit and debit cards and passports etc. as well.
Keep Strong Passwords
Passwords are the first line of defence of your online accounts. Making strong, undetectable passwords is, therefore, a must for each of your accounts. Your online bank accounts and social media accounts, particularly, must have strong passwords. The key to creating a good password is to use unique phrases, that you can remember easily, along with symbols and numbers. Try not to be obvious in creating passwords by using any your own or your family members’ names. Also, try not to use the same password for multiple accounts.
Protect Yourself from Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud and theft is perhaps the most common type of online fraud that people get involved in. Therefore, it is crucial to keep your credit card information private. Only purchase online from and give credit card information to trusted online retail stores. Also, never give out your credit card information over the phone, email or direct message if someone claims to be from your bank or an online store you purchased from.
Use Secure Websites for Online Purchases
Most businesses tend to engage more customers by digitising their operations. However, in doing so, they do not usually take extra care to ensure their customers’ online safety. It is the company’s responsibility to ensure their website is encrypted. For businesses to be safe from online scammers, they should use customer verification services like document verification and facial scans to authenticate the identities of their customers.
Protect Your Devices
Since your mobile devices are your only way to access the internet and therefore your online accounts, it is essential to secure your devices properly. Install proper antivirus programs that can protect your phone and PC from outside threats. Also, make sure your browser is secure. There are also services available that can lock down your mobile phones and PCs if they are stolen. If you are paranoid or have sensitive content on your device(s) set up a Virtual Private Network so you can protect your data online and prevent websites from knowing your location.