What You Should Know About Cyber Identity Theft
Identity theft may not sound like a heinous crime, yet its impact on the victims can be devastating. What is more concerning is that the frequency of this type of crime is increasing. According to Identity Force, there were approximately 16.7 million victims in 2017, and 1 million of them were children. There were at least 540 million dollars were wasted on identity fraud cases.
Identity Sale on the Dark Web
The Dark Web is the digital place where illegal activities take place. You cannot access those webs from your regular browsers. And even if you can, you have to be ready to be tracked down by the authority for suspicious conducts. Plenty of child pornography materials, drug sales, and stolen identities are on the dark web.
Criminals use fake identities to commit crimes. The scenario often goes like this: a criminal buys a digital verified ID from a hacker on the Dark Web, and then, he/she uses that ID to con people online. Consequently, the real person of the ID gets all the blame and legal consequences while the real perpetrator can escape.
However, frauds are still considered as a minor offense. Imagine what trouble you will be if your ID is used for an action related to child pornography and trafficking. You will have a hard time to restore your reputation.
How to Protect Yourself
First, every time you put your personal info online, you have to make sure that your device is equipped with a proper antimalware and antispyware. Paid antiviruses often have those features.
Second, you must not give your personal info if you spot any suspicious behaviors. For example, many payment platforms won't ask your passwords or authentication numbers to process an issue. However, one day, you receive a call that asks you to tell the caller your verification numbers and passwords. In that case, you are better to call the company in question directly and see if they make the call. It is very rare for payment platforms to act beyond the things that are stated on the terms and agreement page.
Surfing on the Internet requires you to be vigilant because even your identity can be a commodity to criminals. And as what you have learned from the first section, you can face a terrible consequence from identity theft.
Second, you have to invest in cybersecurity to protect yourself from the risk of identity theft. Having a decent antivirus can be an excellent anticipating move, but more importantly, you have to sharpen your critical mind and act smart if you encounter a suspicious activity.