Identity theft is a growing problem around the world. Israeli police have not supplied the actual numbers of identity theft related crimes in the country, but it’s believed to be on par with other western countries.
Israel is a country known for its security, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have to protect our online identities.
Credit ratings aren’t as well developed or important as they are in other parts of the world, but that’s starting to change. For this reason, we need to start taking a more proactive approach to keeping our identities and personal information safe.
How can we do that?
Having strong, complex login passwords for our accounts is the first step, and this can help deter hackers. Avoid using the same password for all accounts, and make it a habit to change your passwords periodically.
You’ll find that many service providers have password requirements. You may have to have a certain number of characters, have capital letters or numbers, or have special characters.
If you have trouble remembering multiple passwords, then consider using a password manager to make your life easier.
Use a VPN
A virtual private network, or VPN, will keep your information private. VPNs encrypt your web sessions and mask your IP address to prevent tracking.
Your information is at risk no matter where you use your device. With a VPN, your internet connection and your transmissions are protected. Without this protection, your information is out there for the taking. What can people see? Everything, from your comments on blog posts to your bank account number and password.
There are lots of VPNs out there (here are some insights on ExpressVPN). Find one that suits your needs and budget.
Think Twice Before Clicking Email Links
Phishing scammers often masquerade themselves as important service providers, like banks. The name of the sender and/or the subject of the email is so similar to the service provider, it’s easy to be deceived if you aren’t paying attention.
Important service providers, like banks, will never ask for your personal information in an email.
To keep your information safe, it’s best to log into the service provider’s official portal on your own. Avoid clicking on links in an email unless you are absolutely sure that it’s legitimate.
When browsing the web, especially if you’re logging into a website that has your personal information, make sure that the URLs are marked with a lock icon and start with HTTPs instead of HTTP.
Be Careful About the Information You Share
Be careful not to overshare information when you’re online. And be careful when you’re on social media sites, like Facebook. I’ve received messages from accounts with a friend’s picture, but it really wasn’t my friend. These fraudsters masquerade as friends and family, and they may try to trick you into giving up personal information or provide them with money.
Limit the amount of personal information you submit online.
If you have to share your address or other sensitive information with a friend or family member, do it over the phone or in person.