Monday, 2 May 2011


Ways to Protect Yourself From Online Identity Fraud

Identity fraud appears to be getting more sophisticated by the day. More money is lost yearly to these fraudsters by unwary members of the public.

Identity fraud occurs when someone's personal details are obtained by someone who, by impersonation carries out a transaction at a victim's expense which may run into several thousands of dollars. Victims are usually targeted, after some period of observation during which the fraudster obtains details such as account numbers and/or passwords, telephone numbers, signatures, date of birth, and other details such as Mother's maiden name, schools attended., etc.

It therefore follows that, without those details, the identity fraud cannot be perpetrated. We may therefore want to see how these details can be used to someone's disadvantage.

1) Signature.
Transactions which do not require a person's physical presence may get authentication through a signature. Protecting one's signature would therefore protect your identity. Do not use your real signature in a visitors book when you visit any public place, office, or even a bank, especially when you indicate an account number. Use your initials instead. While this may be offline, a mischievous person can glean the details, and use it in a letter to your bank, requesting to transfer some money to another account or even request for a new credit or pre paid debit card to be sent to an address using the victim's account,.

2) Passwords
Avoid using the same password for all sites. You can try some variations. for example, if your password in a site is bobsmith,, another site can be boby-smith, while another can be Bob_smith. While this is just a guide, the effort is well worth it. You may vary such with a mixture of figures, letters and characters. This should prevent fraudsters from getting access to your vital accounts once the password to a site is known.
Do not allow your laptops or mobile phones to "remember" your passwords on any site. Acceding to the "remember password" request may be convenient, but may also put your online identity at risk whenever your system/mobile phones require repairs. By then, it may not be possible to erase all confidential information that may become available only to those fixing the devices.

3) Security questions
Use email providers that offer more than the regular security question, Use of questions such as "Mother's maiden name",.can be obtained from online public records while others like "Third grade teacher's name"," home address in grade 3" "first telephone number" can easily be obtained through siblings.

If you use swipe type credit or debit cards, you should immediately change to the more secure chip type cards. This is because details of swipe type cards are easily obtainable through fake card readers and can be fed into another blank card, where transactions may be carried out at your expense.
Exercise great discretion on sites requesting you to register your card details when payments are not yet due. Spend considerable time to ensure they are genuine sites. The details can be used to your disadvantage when you least expect. Otherwise, use a low denomination prepaid debit card you can fund at will.
Also take time to scrutinize your statements regularly to observe unauthorized deductions. A prompt detection may avert a great fraud as most fraudsters start the illegal deductions with small unnoticeable amounts.

5) Social Security Number
Avoid sites that request for your Social Security Number. There should be other sites providing what you require without a knowledge of your SSN. However you can let them have your IRS code.

1 Responses to “Ways to Protect Yourself From Online Identity Fraud”

Shiela said...
6 January 2012 at 01:01

It's quite dangerous to surf the net sometimes. Friends in China told me recently, a great deal of user information of many website, including some government website leaks. That's really terrible. replique gucci sac

Post a Comment