Most of us hear about data breaches on the news or read about it when we open our phones and the entire internet is talking about it. However, the event only occupies a glimpse of time in our mind as we have social networks to scroll and emails to reply to.
Cybersecurity issues are often seen as something unlikely to happen to the regular individual or the small company that’s struggling to find money to pay its employees.
While this used to be somewhat true, reports show an alarming increase in various cyber-attacks during the 2020 – 2021 time period.
In the first six months of 2021, there were reported over 1760 breaches, which led to over 18.8 Bn records being leaked.
Plus, attackers don’t standstill. They continuously polish their tools and improve their attacks. Furthermore, new trends like Ransomware as a Service and Phishing as a Service opened the world of hacking to non-technical persons. This means that almost anyone can launch an attack on another individual or organization (as long as they can afford the fee).
So, what has ID theft got to do with all these? Everything is connected because the attackers are looking for the most valuable currency of our highly technological world – data.
More exactly, they look for sensitive and confidential data that expose a person’s identity by revealing their SSN, bank account info, insurance details, and more.
Keep Your Identity Safe
Unless you want to experience the anxiety and frustration that come with ID theft, you should consider using a service like Identity Guard. This type of service monitors your financial and personal accounts and lets you know when something isn’t right.
Also, make sure all your devices are up to date and all your online accounts have a strong username-password combination. It’s also recommended to use two-factor authentication on the accounts that offer this feature. Plus, make sure all your online communications are encrypted.
Phishing and ransomware attacks are quite popular nowadays which is why users have to pay close attention when shopping online or when opening up emails from unknown senders.
Plus, if you do have an online presence or an online business, you also need to know how to protect your website from attacks.
People seem to think they have nothing to hide, so an attacker won’t find anything of interest. However, if someone would use their personal data to apply for credits, buy expensive products, or even get a job, this would be extremely inconvenient.
Advanced Technologies on the Dark Side
Experts in cybersecurity use advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, and more to create better protection tools and to prevent attacks.
Cybercriminals have access to the same technologies and they are not limited by laws, ethics, and morals. As a result, the more recent threats get smarter and more difficult to detect before it’s too late.
Identity theft is one of these threats that’s improving as ill-intended actors use real-life data to create profiles of fake people that seem real when processed by a governmental or financial institution.
This type of scam ends up costing the government millions of dollars, and the costs end up reflecting in the market. Therefore, ID theft has a negative impact on you even if you are not directly involved.
Cybersecurity will probably still be in second place until things die down with the pandemic. However, we also need to keep in mind that cybercriminals don’t wait for us to recover.
They will strike when we’re the most vulnerable. Identity theft and data leaks are serious situations and we need to talk about their implications more. Until then, the only way to stay safe online is to be cautious.