Identity Theft Trends You Should Know

Identity thieves are changing with the times.  As we do more with technology, so do identity thieves.  They are getting smarter at figuring out ways to steal your identity. Knowing these identity theft trends can help you to protect your own identity from being stolen.
Be careful with social media.  Social media sites such as Facebook are a good way for identity thieves to get your information.  All too often we share too much information on social networking sites; this makes it much easier for identity thieves to get ahold of our personal and professional information. 
Protect your computers and phones.  Whether it is your work computer or your home computer you need to make sure it is protected.  Viruses and spyware are a way that identity thieves can get your information from your computer.  Having protection from viruses and spyware are a very important way to protect your information. 
It goes beyond computers though.  Now most people have smart phone.  These smart phones make our lives easier by essentially being miniature pocket computers.  We have the ability to do banking and bill pay on our phones, as well as store very important information.  These phones are also in need of being protected from viruses and malware.  It is easy to forget to protect our smart phones, as they have not been around as long as computers.  This is something that we must not forget it we want to make sure we are protecting our identity.
Cybercriminals are always trying to get your information off of your computer and online.  They will try to steal you bank username and password.  Once they have your user name and password for your bank account they can use it to get money out of your account. 
These cybercriminals will also hack into your email and send “phishing” emails to all of your contacts.  If your email contacts are not careful and they open any link in the email, they expose themselves to have their information stolen from their computer.  If you suspect that your email has been hacked, immediately notify your contacts.  Let them know you were hacked and not to open up the email from the hacker, just delete it.  One way to monitor this is to add your own email address into your contacts.  That way if the hacker sends out phishing emails you will get one as well, which will notify you faster of the problem and it allows you to notify your contacts faster of the issue.
If you suspect any of your online information has been compromised change all usernames and passwords immediately.  You will also need to notify any who are involved in the breach of information, such as contacts, banks, credit card companies, etc.  The faster you report a problem the better.  It gives the companies more time to figure out what is going on and to get it stopped before it gets any more out of control. 
One thing that you must keep in mind is that these identity thieves are getting good at getting information online, they are getting good at hacking, and they are getting good at getting your information without your knowledge.  Never use the same password for anything.  If a hacker can get one of your passwords and you use this password for many things, that will give them access to more information.  Do not use common passwords either, there are many that most people will use, avoid them.  Avoid using your pet’s name for a password.  It does not take these criminals much to get information about you including your pet’s names, using your pet’s name for a password will just make it easier for them.  Always remember, if you suspect foul play, contact the authorities.

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