People are certainly afraid of burglars but there is one threat that is even more serious – identity theft. If a bad guy lays his hands on your credit card information, you are bound to lose more than if a burglar enters your home. In identity theft, accounts can be set up under your name or thousands of dollars can be laundered using your account which can impact on your credit standing. It can take years and a lot of efforts to clean up the mess.
Based on the survey made by MasterCard on 1,000 adults it was revealed that 77% of Americans are anxious about their financial information being stolen. Only 59% fear that that their home might be robbed. It was also found out that many of the respondents still engage in behavior that increases the risks of becoming victims of identity theft or fraud. About 46% have not changed the password on their online financial accounts and 44% still use the same password for multiple accounts.
According to Charlie Price managing director of MorganFranklin Consulting’s corporate investigation who is also an FBI agent, every time you click on a link, you are literally opening a door to let the con man in. Identity theft must be taken seriously because attackers will not steal $5,000 or $10,000 from your bank account; they are going to steal something which is more valuable and that is your identity. Your identity can be used to steal more money from others.
In order to protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft, look out for phishing emails. These emails can trick you into believing that it came from your financial institution. If you click on the embedded link and type your password, the attacker gains access to your account. It is also suggested to avoid using your full birthdate and other personal details in social media accounts.
If you accidentally clicked on a phishing email, change your password immediately so that it cannot be used on other websites. If you have trouble remembering your password, make use of an encrypted password manager tool. Never carry cards with your Social Security number or that of your children.