No one can deny that the internet has made our lives much easier because it allows you to complete all your tasks from the comfort of your home.
For instance, you no longer have to visit the stores physically to buy things because you can order them online. People can even book their flights and hotel rooms with just one click.
Unfortunately, this increased reliance on the internet has put our private information at stake. Since our data is readily available over the internet, cybercrimes have drastically improved, and among them, identity theft is the most dangerous. If the hacker manages to steal your identity, he can perform unethical activities and put you behind bars. This is the primary reason you should take precautions to protect yourself from being the victim of identity theft. Moreover, you should also be aware of the different types of identity theft, so you can stay vigilant while using the internet.
This blog will explore the different types of identity theft you should watch out for. So, let's get started!
What Is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is a common type of fraud in which the hacker or criminal manages to steal your personal information, such as your social security number or credit card number. The criminal can use your information for financial gain or other malicious purposes. For example, a criminal might purchase from your credit card or use your health card.
4 Types of Identity Theft
The first step to prevent identity theft is to educate yourself by understanding the different types of identity theft. Some of the common types of identity theft are listed below.
Financial Identity Theft
In this type of identity theft, criminals steal your financial information for monetary benefits. For instance, they might steal your credit card numbers or bank account information to make unauthorized purchases or open new accounts in your name. Moreover, they might even steal funds from your bills, and you can suffer significant financial loss.
Financial identity theft can occur in several ways. Hackers might send phishing emails, hack your account, and even steal credit cards. So, you should never share your credit card information with anyone, keep your bank statements confidential, and watch out for bogus emails.
Medical Identity Theft
Medical identity is another popular type of identity theft that has affected millions of US residents. It does not only wreak havoc with your health benefits but also causes financial damage. It occurs when a hacker steals your medical information to get medical services or prescription drugs in your name. This can result in bills for services or prescriptions you did not ask for. This can lead to inaccurate medical records, and it will be harder for you to get medical care in the future.
Criminal Identity Theft
Criminal identity theft occurs when a hacker uses your identity to commit crimes. It occurs when a hacker steals your personal information, social security number, and even your driving license. This type of identity theft can lead to serious consequences because it will be challenging to prove your innocence. Additionally, you can suffer from the following products:
- Courts might issue summons to you if your identity is used in unethical activities.
- A bench warrant might be issued for your arrest.
- If your identity is used, the police might keep your details for background checks, which can cause employer problems.
Child Identity Theft
Child identity theft occurs when criminals use your child's information to commit fraud. Criminals know how easy it is to trick your children and steal their information. So, you should be vigilant about your child's internet activities and protect them from cyber threats. Moreover, children have no idea that they have been targeted. Some victims might realize they have been the victim of identity theft until they apply for jobs or loans. So as a parent, you should take strict measures to protect your child.
Using parental control software to block malicious websites and applications would be best. In addition, you should ensure that you use a secure internet connection so third parties cannot monitor your internet activities. We recommend always using a fast internet connection, so hackers cannot intercept your network. Only choose a reliable internet service provider, such as Windstream Internet. It does not only offer a secure connection but offers security software, which is known as “Windstream Kinetic Secure.” This software can protect users from credit card fraud, online scams, identity theft, and other cyber threats. With this software, you can use the internet securely. If you want to know more about its Security Suite, you can visit its website.
How Do You Know You Are a Victim of Identity Theft?
We know no one wants to be left in the dark when criminals use their identity and commit fraud. This is why we have listed some significant signs of identity theft below. You can immediately take appropriate action because knowing the signs can help minimize identity theft's repercussions.
- You notice changes in your financial accounts. So, you should check your bank statements regularly to detect any unusual changes.
- Debt collectors and collection agencies start calling you about foreign debts.
- You get a tax transcript you never asked for.
- Most banks send a fraud alert when your credit card is used. So, be diligent when you receive such notifications.
- Be wary of unusual medical emails.
Protecting personal information is crucial in today's digital age, as more sensitive data is stored online. Identity thieves can use a variety of tactics, such as phishing emails or hacking into databases, to access this information and use it for their purposes. Therefore, it is essential to protect your data to prevent identity theft.