Simple ways to keep your identity safe online

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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?

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Identity theft and fraud

IDcare is a new charity which aims to help victims of identity theft find their footing.

Aussie identity theft hits 772,000

Over the past 12 months 772,000 Australians have fallen victim to identify theft.

Avoiding identity theft

It's estimated that one in five Australians are affected by identity theft.

Written by annapa


Total Comments: 4
  1. 0

    Life Choices sure come up with cracker inane stories for the stupid

    • 0

      What do you mean? I would think this is very relevant – if not, how about sharing your thoughts with us? I am very keen to obtain as much info in this area as possible, because it always concerns me, when I go on line to make a payment for example, whether my details can be/are being hacked! I am sure there are a lot of other readers who share my concern

    • 0

      Big Al, usually your bank or credit card mob will alert you if anything odd happens. They can see where it comes from for example. We have been asked even when we have been away so they check and monitor. Credit cards are especially good as you can say that is not your purchase. They have security settings when you pay a bill as well.
      Online web surfing is a bit different. You can be warned not to enter a site via your settings, check in there often.
      On Facebook lock down your account to friends only and not even friends of friends. Go through the security every so often to check it and update everything you use online.

  2. 0

    Yup – had the passport and the birth certificate stolen in a break-in once. Licence renewal time and I was asked if I had some outstanding fine in Queenslund, a good thousand miles away…..

    Love to see someone try to use a passport stolen to get through an airport….. instant slammer.



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