You are unique. Your identity is one of a kind in this world. The way you think, your likes and dislikes, all the experiences you’ve had, and your beliefs are just a part of who you really are. That identity cannot be stolen or taken from you. In the digital age we are more than simply ourselves. We are given a name and number that indicates who we are. This other part of your identity, your social security or credit card number, is extremely valuable to thieves. It’s so valuable, that criminals around the world have schemed and developed methods to gain access to this information.
To best protect yourself against identity theft you must first learn how these thieves work. Knowing how someone’s identity is being stolen, can possibly allow you to stop the same thing from happening to you. Identity theft starts with someone getting your personal information. They do this through a multitude of schemes and scams. There are two main categories in which this happens. On the internet and those that happen in the physical world.
The internet is impossibly huge and often times hard to understand. This makes it a perfect hunting ground for poaching people’s identities. Here are some common themes that connect many of them.
- Disguise – Many of these thieves rely on pretending they are someone else, like your bank or the government.
- Prior Information – Someone who is trying to steal your identity will most likely have information about you already.
- Contact – They will contact you with an email, phone call, or text.
Most identity thefts on the internet will contain an element from the above list. However, just knowing common features between methods of identity theft is not enough to thoroughly protect your identity online. Each online method that thieves use to steal your personal information is different. Knowing them will arm you with information you need to keep your Identity to yourself. It’s also a good rule of thumb to do a background check on yourself every so often. SpyFly is the perfect tool to help you do this. Simply enter your first and last name and find out if there is anything suspicious on your record.