OCTOBER 2008

Protecting Your Identity This Holiday Season

Identity fraud is a growing global problem. In fact, it’s the fastest growing crime in the world. At ID Theft Protect, we know that many people have been struck by identity fraud. Have you been a victim? If not, chances are that at some point you will be.  Do you have all the knowledge and protection you need to keep your identity safe this holiday season?

Keep reading to find out how you can prevent identity fraud – both online and offline.

Protecting Your Online Identity
The main aim of a malicious program is to collect information about you so that a fraudster can make money from you. If you only have anti-virus and a firewall installed, you are not completely protected from all online threats – those two programs alone are not sufficient to protect your computer from a browser hijacker, malware, or even a keylogger. Without adequate protection, you may find yourself experiencing a problem, like the one below.

A malicious program has installed itself on your computer and is copying everything as you type – every website you visit and every username and password you type. In fact, it may even take a screenshot of all the websites you access! A malicious program may also slow your computer down or, even worse, stop it from working altogether.

The Solutions
Here’s a look at ways you can protect yourself more thoroughly from online threats:

  • Anti-malware software to provide necessary protection from spyware, adware, and Trojans
  • A sandbox to prevent rogue software from making changes to your PC
  • Keyscrambler software can help to hide your keystrokes from prying eyes
  • A password manager to store and secure your usernames, passwords, and more
  • Hard disk encryption can be used to store and secure your personal data

Protecting Your Offline Identity
It’s not just the online world that opens you up to the risk of identity fraud; fraudsters may attempt to steal your personal information offline in a variety of ways. With the list, below, educate yourself on the most popular methods used by criminals to steal your private information.

  • Card fraud abroad – Your credit card is copied while at a gas station, restaurant or cash machine, and then it’s used overseas.
  • Mail non-receipt card fraud– You’ve just recently moved and some/all mail has gone missing.
  • Application identity fraud You’ve received a letter saying your application for a credit card has been accepted – but you realize you didn’t apply in the first place!
  • Card not present fraud – You’ve received your credit card statement and notice several suspicious transactions.

The Solutions
Below are some of the solutions you should use to protect yourself.

  • Register to a mailing preference service to stop junk mail.
  • Register with a credit monitoring agency to protect your credit profile.
  • Apply for protective registration – such as the service provided by CIFAS, the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service. Check for details and availability within your country of residency.
  • Register for a card protection plan – this is separate from credit card insurance.

Keep in mind that it may not be necessary to pay for credit card or identity theft insurance. Make sure to check what you are buying, what special features you are actually paying for, and if you are already entitled to free identity theft insurance from your credit card company.

Want more ways to protect your identity?
Don’t wait until you become the next victim of identity fraud. Act now and protect yourself this holiday season. ID Theft Protect has partnered with Lavasoft to show you simple ways to easily protect your online identity. Register for your FREE one year license to ID Theft Protect’s Step-by-Step e-Guide. Learn more now!

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By The Numbers
90% of users never check all of the transactions listed on their bank or credit card statements.
Source: ID Theft Protect
Tips & Tactics
Planning to donate to your favorite charity this holiday season? Find out how to give to your intended organization safely and securely.
What People Are Saying
Best Anti-Spyware Award
Ad-Aware garnered the win for Softonic’s Best Anti-Spyware award. Thanks to our loyal users all around the world who voted to make our win possible!
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