Identity theft and fraud are always risks with our business and social activities shifting online. For instance, we share our sensitive, confidential information when creating online accounts, applying for a loan, and even searching for a job. Unfortunately, fraudsters constantly seek ways to access our personal information despite companies’ efforts to protect our data. So, is buying identity theft protection insurance worth it?
How Does Identity Theft Work?
Identity theft is the criminal activity of gaining access to personal information like social security numbers, birth dates, or bank account information. In addition, identity thieves can do the following actions with this data:
- File taxes
- Apply for credit
- Make unauthorized purchases and transactions
- Commit other fraud types
Common Ways Your Identity Can Be Stolen
Additionally, these are some of the common ways others can steal your identity
Browsing Compromised Websites
Browsing compromised websites can expose you to different types of identity theft. The good news is that some browsers notify you when you try to access a risky site. So, make sure you don’t neglect the warnings! Also, avoid clicking on links that are embedded in your emails. Instead, type the link into your trusted browser and cautiously read the URL because a simple mistype can take you to a risky location.
Data Breach Mishap
A data breach happens when an unauthorized person obtains access to, uses, or takes information from a company or person. This vulnerability occurs due to accidents, employee negligence, system failures, or criminal activity.
Cybercriminals utilize malware to receive personally identifiable information, or PII, to steal identities. This malicious software has viruses, adware, spyware, and ransomware. In addition, people may fall victim to malware by participating in contests, surveys, and polls. Furthermore, some fraudsters might even mimic legitimate businesses with fake domains to infect other people’s devices.
Hacking in Wi-Fi Networks
Lastly, hackers can get your personal data when you utilize your devices on a public Wi-Fi network. Remember to avoid shopping online, and please turn off the auto-connect option when using a public network. Overall, you can only do so much to protect your data. So, is it worth buying identity theft protection insurance? It’s ultimately up to you. Are you willing to monitor your information or freeze your credit? It would be smart to pay for identity theft protection insurance if you have previously been a victim.
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