How to fight online identity theft

Social media and the internet have generally revolutionised society. But they’ve also created some serious security headaches. Reports show that one in five Australians fall victim to identity theft and fraud each year just by going online.

What should you do and how can you lower your chances of becoming a statistic?

Unique is always the way to go
It helps to remember to be unique when choosing your online passwords. Criminals can hack an account if a password is weak, and by weak, we mean the password doesn’t contain a variation of letters and numbers. By generating a secure, unique and different password for every site you visit, you are already lowering your risk online.

Secure your wireless network
By leaving your wireless network open, your chances of being hacked increase drastically. Attackers can track your searches and create a list of the websites you frequently visit, which gives them an opportunity to build a more detailed profile of you. Even if you think some information (like a credit card number) is encrypted on a secure website, your log-in information could still be hacked. The best tip is to add a password to your wireless internet system, one that is made up of symbols, letters and numbers.


Reputable sources only
You should only be running software and entering websites that you know and are known to be trustworthy. If you download items such as screensavers and online documents without checking their source, you immediately open up your device to hackers. This means your computer could be riddled with viruses too. The only way to keep your device clean is to constantly update your antivirus software, which you can find in your settings (or when it comes up to remind you). Remember to check that the anti-virus software is your actual company and not a fraud!

Have you had your identity stolen? What did you do to protect yourself?

Related articles:
Theft and fraud online
Aussie identity theft at a high
Avoid the theft

YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.
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