Surprising ways Identity Theft can happen through Your Phone
As technology becomes more and more advanced, identity theft is happening through new and surprising ways. Sometimes it can feel like there is nothing you can do to keep your identity safe. The best way to prevent identity theft is to stay alert. This starts with understanding all the different ways that thieves use to steal people’s identities.
Fake Wi-fi Hotspots
Fake Wi-Fi hotspots are hotspots set up by hackers that mimic legitimate ones. Usually hackers target cafes, hospitals, and other public places that you would expect to have free Wi-Fi. The connection will have a name that sounds authentic, such as the name of the hospital. Once you connect to the fake hotspot, the hacker can see your activity. This allows them to commit Identity Theft by accessing your text messages, emails, and even your bank passwords and social security number.
Shoulder surfing is what happens when thieves spy on you when you are using ATMs, computer, smartphones, etc. They look over your shoulders to try to find out your passwords/pin numbers. Sometimes, they will spy on you from farther away by using a camera. This is one reason you should always keep an eye on your phone. Many thieves will shoulder surf right before they steal your device. This way they have the password and can access the phone as soon as they steal it.
Phishing is another common method cyber criminals use for Identity Theft. Phishing is a generic term that means fishing for personal information. The most common way hackers fish for info is through email. They usually use an attention-grabber in the subject heading to get you to click, such as an overdraft warning. Most phishing attacks look as if they came from a legitimate email account. That is why you should always be cautious when any email asks you for personal information, even if it seems legit at first glance. If you ever do receive emails from your bank that you need to respond to, check your account’s message center to verify the email. You can also call the bank directly and respond to the message by phone.