In 2020, more people are working from home than ever before. Even in rural small businesses or companies with a relatively small staff that comes into the office, a growing number of companies are conducting meetings with clients and colleagues online. In addition, when we aren't working on the internet, we’re socializing and spending our free time there. All of this time online means increased exposure to online threats. This includes hackers, phishers, and other people seeking to commit online identity theft. Cybercriminals are creative and resourceful, using a variety of means to steal private information. Understanding how they steal sensitive information is the first step to keeping yours safe.
Follow these tips for online identity theft protection.
Common Cybercrime Tactics
According to the Insurance Information Institute, 2019 saw hundreds of thousands of reports of identity theft. Among those were 246,763 reports of credit card fraud and 166,875 reports of miscellaneous identity theft (including online shopping and payment account fraud).
How do cybercriminals carry this out? Much of it happens online via techniques meant to steal passwords, account numbers, and other sensitive information.
Phishing is a type of cybercrime meant to trick naïve, trusting users into willingly offering up private information. Phishers often send emails cleverly designed to look like emails generated from a credit card company, bank, or Paypal, tricking users into clicking malicious URLs or entering account names and passwords.
Malware attackers create software that – once downloaded onto your computer – can capture a wide array of sensitive information. It can record keystrokes, enabling cybercriminals to steal passwords, names, addresses, account numbers, and other sensitive information. Malware frequently comes from clicking suspicious links or downloading files sent from unknown persons.
Online Identity Theft Protection and Internet Security with Identity Guard
While the ways that cybercriminals work to steal information are crafty and ever-changing, companies like Identity Guard work hard to protect people who fall victim to these thieves. Just as you protect your routers and electronic devices, it makes good sense to utilize online identity theft protection as a safety net in case the worst should happen. gotW3 now provides its internet service subscribers free Identity Guard protection. Identity Guard provides wide-ranging coverage, from $1 million in identity theft insurance to an online dashboard and risk management score to give users insight into their online behavior and ways they can better protect themselves.
Keeping an Online Eye on Kids
Adults aren't the only ones working, streaming, and socializing online these days. Kids of all ages spend a great deal of time on the internet – and it's increasingly hard for parents to keep an eye on all of their online activities. Identity Guard's Family Plan offers online protection that includes protecting kids and helping parents track what their kids are doing… and how others might be interacting with them. Identity Guard’s Family Plan includes monitoring for cyberbullying, social media monitoring, and safe browsing tools to help keep tabs on your kids' cyber wellness. Because adults aren't the only victims of identity theft (over 1 million children are victims of fraud or identity theft each year), Identity Guard curates personalized alerts to notify subscribers of suspicious activity so parents can safeguard their children's financial futures.
Protection Both Online and Off
While cybercrime is the fastest-growing crime in the U.S., criminals still take every opportunity to commit thievery and other crimes offline, too. Should you lose your wallet, this means spending hours scrambling to notify authorities and cut off access to bank, credit cards, and other accounts. Identity Guard's Family Plan includes Lost Wallet Protection. Hopefully, neither you nor anyone else in your household will ever need it, but should one of your wallets go missing, this added protection can help you recover quickly, with service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
While a reliable internet connection is a must for working as well as relaxing at home, so is having online identity theft protection. That's why gotW3 is working with Identity Guard to keep our customers safe – which means one less thing to worry about as you care for and spend time with the people you love.