What is
identity theft?

Identity theft occurs when someone uses your social security number or other credentials to access or open new accounts, make purchases or changes in your name.

Identity theft

[ /aɪˈdentɪti θeft/ ]

noun

the fraudulent practice of using another person's name and personal information in order to obtain credit, loans, etc.

There are many methods used to steal someone’s identity. A phone call or an email from an allegedly legitimate business or individual are two examples. Sometimes all it takes is to go through one’s trash to find mail containing personal information and credit card receipts.

The name of an employee can be all it takes to set up a fake account, asking for sensitive information, such as client lists, or a financial transfer.

Whether it’s your social media, email or other account, many suppliers offer the possibility to log in through a two-factor authentication. A two-factor authentication means you have to verify yourself through two devices or security steps, for example: your password first and secondly with a code sent as a text message to your phone. When you go to an ATM you use a two-factor authentication: first your bank card and secondly your PIN.

  1. Activate two-factor authentication
  2. Choose a secure password: download our manual here
  3. Make sure to change password if leaked
  4. DO NOT use the same password at different sites or accounts
  5. Do not open links sent in e-mails from people/addresses you do not recognize.
  6. Do not give out any personal information, such as passwords, PINs, Social Security numbers, etc. through e-mail or phone, even if the person claims to be a part of an authorized organization.

Although the reasons behind why someone would actively hack in to access your personal information varies, many times your information leaks by pure accident and might not be used. There are malicious outsiders that can find your information leaked and use it to do purchases, which you will end up paying for, or simply to access your e-mail or social media to mess with you, by posting something inappropriate or contact your friends. Either how or why the person does it, it can affect your financial situation and personal life, and cause a great deal of humiliation and embarrassment.