For the best identity theft prevention, you need more than just a credit monitoring service to watch out for risks on your behalf. Your own behavior either protects you or puts you the most at risk for the crime. Ask yourself these 10 questions to determine how at risk you may be for this crime.
- How often do you access online banking? While it is best to keep tabs on your funds to make sure everything checks out, if you do so too often and on non-secure networks, you may be at a high risk. More than 50 percent of phishing emails are targeted at online banking.
- Do you frequently make purchases online? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that credit card fraud, which takes place now online more than in person, costs consumers almost $100 billion a year.
- Do you have multiple email addresses? The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) estimates that one out of every 300 emails sent in 2011 were malicious.
- How active are you on social media? The source indicates that one in five cyber attacks are targeted at social media.
- Do you tend to go overboard downloading apps? Malicious programs and viruses run rampant on mobile devices too, especially on the Android platform, according to the NCSA).
- Is internet gaming a big part of your life? Scammers may entice you with free previews to new programs that are really just invitations to viruses.
- How often have you entered contests, sweepstakes or attempted to claim coupons online? “Trojan horses” are extremely common fronts offering one thing but delivering another entirely.
How often do you update your spyware? This is a very important for of identity theft prevention, as roughly 232 computers are infected with malware the world over every minute.