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5 ways you make yourself vulnerable to identity theft

Munira Rangwala
15th Jul 2017
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In today's time, your identity is everywhere. It is in everything that holds valuable information about you. This includes your smartphone, wallet, credit cards, laptop, tax returns, and so on. It is therefore all the more important to protect your identity from identity thieves. Technology has made it easy for people to get hold of your identity if they put their mind to it. Identity thieves are getting more sophisticated with the methods they use to get hold of personal data. You should therefore be aware of the type of behaviours that are risky as this knowledge will help you guard your identity. Here's a list of five common vulnerabilities that put your personal information at risk.

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

Your mobile is not password protected

If your mobile gets lost and falls into the hands of a stranger, he will have access to all your private information if your mobile is not password protected. Without your password, your social media, email, and even some banking accounts might become accessible to the stranger. When a criminal has access to so much information, the process of stealing your identity becomes very easy.

You use internet cafes for personal work

If you access financially sensitive and private information through public computers, stop doing so. We live in an age where there are several smartphones available at reasonable prices that support internet access and its accompanying functions. Make use of those instead of going to libraries or internet cafes for personal work.

You use the same password for everything

Do you use your Gmail password for sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and every other gated website? Also, do you have the same password today that you had 10 years ago? Failure to regularly update your passwords and keep different passwords for different websites will make you an easier target for identity theft. You should therefore change your passwords every once in a while, to avoid compromising your identity.

Your online storage habits are too lenient

Today, there are thousands of tools and apps that promise to keep your data safe for you but their security features aren't up-to-date. Before allowing these interfaces to store your personal information, you should ensure that the environments you are allowing access to are encrypted and secured. If you have private documents that need storage, use an online digital safe deposit box to avoid compromising your identity.

You dispose important mail without first shredding it

A lot of individuals discard mail containing personal information without first shredding it. When you do this, you put yourself at significant risk of identity theft. If bits and pieces of your personal information fall into the hands of unscrupulous individuals, you allow them to take over your identity with relative ease.

Make it a habit to guard your private information thoroughly. Take care of the above-mentioned behaviours and your personal information will stay away from the prying eyes of the identity thieves around you.

Read next: How to protect your startup from identity theft.

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