Online identity theft and the associated problems with fraud are a very real concern for many people who complete transactions or complete forms online. Surrendering personal information and, in particular, bank and credit card details can be an extremely costly mistake if you don’t invest in relevant online security as such instances can result in third parties accessing and withdrawing funds from a personal account.
In addition to this, losing personal information such as names, addresses, NI and passport numbers can lead to criminals committing crimes in the names of the victim. There are a number of steps that can be taken to ensure that personal details do not fall into the wrong hands though – and all of these fall under the umbrella of internet or online security.
By understanding the indicators of a possible breach of personal security, the resulting risks and stages of prevention can also be understood.
Are you a victim of identity fraud?
There are a number of warning signs that might point towards a case of identity theft. One of the initial and most prominent indicators is refusal of credit. Loans and other forms of personal finance may have been refused despite having a solid credit history and in addition to this bank and credit card statements may show transactions that have not been carried out in person.
Other examples include the receipt of additional credit or debit cards, complaints regarding non-delivery of items, receiving calls from debt collection agencies and non-receipt of bank or credit card statements. This all points to a possible case of identity theft.
How to prevent online identity theft using online security tips
In order to prevent personal details falling into the wrong hands, it is important to be aware of a number of key aspects whilst online. There are many ways by which personal information can be stolen online.
To prevent this happening it is imperative that you only access trusted websites. A lot of businesses are selling goods and services online. In order to do this, these businesses must implement an online purchasing form or interactive transaction page. This is perhaps where most online identity theft takes place.
Reputable online businesses should always possess a trusted SSL certificate which ensures that all information passed between each party is both secure and encrypted. These certificates “lock” third parties out of the transaction and ensure that sensitive information does not fall into the wrong hands.
In most cases, websites that require personal information and do not have a trusted SSL certificate will be immediately flagged via a warning message.
Online identity theft is one of the most common ways for criminals to access personal details. By ensuring that transactions are only carried out using websites with a trusted SSL certificate, consumers can reduce the risk of personal information falling into the wrong hands and there are many companies such as Symantec which offer SSL services and other online security systems.