5 of the Most Common Mistakes that Lead to Identity Theft

Monday, June 10, 2019, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

People have their identity stolen on a daily basis. The vast majority of them never realize that until it’s too late. Identity theft happens all over the world and no one is safe.

One day you’re shopping for groceries at your local market with your credit card and the next day you get a call from your bank where you learn that someone used your card details to pay for cocktails in Brazil.

This was only one example of a rather harmless theft, many have their identity stolen when they unknowingly reveal some personal info online.

That’s why you should learn about the five of the most common mistakes that could get you in hot waters when it comes to identity theft.

5 of the Most Common Mistakes that Lead to Identity Theft

  1. Leaving your social security number exposed

    Every country in this world issues personal identity documents and the vast majority use rather similar technologies. In the US, there is a social security number. It is the only proof of someone’s identity. Thus, you shouldn’t let anyone see it except for your employer or bank.

    The number has to stay hidden at all times. Only disclose it if you really need to and if you’re disclosing it to an official authority. Do not fall for the phone scams. There are still these phone scams where you get informed about how you won a prize and you only need to provide your SSN and card details in order to obtain it. Never do so, just hang up. People who disclose their social security number risk being charged for something they didn’t do.

  2. Unprotected web browsing

    This is becoming a proper threat nowadays. You are probably one of many who just download a web browser and surf the Internet, right? Well, you may be at risk then.

    Did you know that hackers can steal your info when you visit various websites? That is true. Especially if you want to download something. It’s also quite common for people to be fooled by false online stores. During the process, you can get your identity stolen.

    That is why it’s important to consider roaming the web safely by protecting yourself with a VPN (Virtual Private Network). If you download stuff online on a daily basis, you should look into safe torrenting and check out which websites are safe and which ones aren’t.

    Torrenting is generally recognized as a bad thing but that doesn’t have to be the case for you. Check out some of the safe and reliable torrent sites and you shall see how beneficial (and legal at the same time) torrenting can be for you.

  3. Suspicious emails

    If you have no idea who the sender is, do not open the email. It’s that simple. If you have no idea who sent it and if the subject seems off, it’s better to move it to trash instantly. You can never know if the email has viruses or executable codes.

    A good thing nowadays is that some mail clients move these scam and spam messages directly to trash. That’s why you probably don’t see most of it in your inbox. However, more sophisticated scammers manage to find their way into your inbox.

    When you sense that something is off, move it to the trash. It’s better that way.

  4. Avoid public Wi-Fi

    Never use public Wi-Fi if you don’t have to. Especially avoid using it when you need to do finances.
    Public Wi-Fi’s are often used by hackers that are called hotspot hackers. Basically, you think that you are connecting to a safe public Wi-Fi network but you end up getting connected to someone’s hotspot. Once you get hooked, you can get your data stolen.

    That is why you should never do mobile banking and similar things when connected to public Wi-Fi routers.
    If you really need to do some banking on the go, at least make sure that you are connected to a trusted network. Of course, your own device should be protected by antivirus software too.

  5. Losing your phone

    Oh, yes. Losing your smartphone can result in identity theft.

    Avoid keeping info about your SSN on your phone or birth certificate details, never let the sensitive data stay on your phone available for anyone who gets it to see.

    It’s best that you never leave your device unattended but you should also activate your phone’s screen lock and secure it with face recognition software or fingerprint identification. If you have sensitive info, use data encryption.

    Also, should your phone get stolen, use a remote disabling feature or data wiping app.


You can never know the direction from which the threat can come. That is why you need to take every security measure out there to ensure your own safety online and offline.

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