Identity theft occurs when an attacker obtains personal information of a natural or legal person and used illegally, for example, for fraud or crime.
The identity of a person consists of your personal data such as name, phone, address, photos, social security number, bank account numbers … In short, any information that could identify that person.
With the information obtained can be made numerous fraudulent activities, for example:
Economic loss: If data have been obtained from the bank account, thieves can steal economic amounts from the account or make purchases and charge the amount in the account of the victim.
Impersonating the victim: From creating a new account or changing the password of user access to any of your accounts so that the victim cannot have control over it and can access only the attacker. This way is to perform what is commonly called cyber stalking or cyber bullying, the purpose is to generate different types of content on behalf of the victim, with the intention that other users of the -email service, social network, blog. ..- a negative idea of forming the victim, although there are cases of cyber bullying in which it blackmails the legitimate user, if you want to reclaim your account.
In this case, although there is no financial loss, identity theft can cause problems affect your credibility and reputation.
How these Criminals obtain Data?
The main methods used by criminals to acquire personal information from victims using the Internet are:
Create a type of virus that is installed on your computer or mobile and collects personal information without the user knowing it’s there or knows its true purpose.
Social engineering: manipulate the user to provide their data using the natural tendency of people to react in a predictable way in certain situations (give financial details of an apparent official of a bank, provide a password to a system administrator course … ). The most common form of social engineering is through emails or fake websites, which have the same appearance as the entity that is intended to replace.
The phishing is the most popular technique where the attacker impersonates a real entity, usually a bank, in order to obtain user data on resources contracted with that company (bank account, password …)
How to avoid it?
Criminals take advantage of the lack of information from some users, and the difficulty involved in locating the exact physical location where carried out fraudulent transactions.
The best way to prevent identity theft is prevention; however, if you suspect you have been a victim of identity theft, it is important that you contact your financial institution to request the blocking of accounts involved. You should also change passwords or lock the accounts that could be compromised, and above all, report the case to the competent authority. You can also get subscriptions from Lifelock. To save some money, it is not hard to find coupons or promo codes for lifelock.