07 May 2021

Privacy and Identity Theft

Privacy and identity theft

When an unauthorized person uses your personal identifying information, such as your name, address, or credit card or bank account information to assume your identity in order to commit fraud or other criminal acts, that’s identity theft.

Different Forms of Identity Theft


This occurs when someone uses your card without your permission. Even if a criminal doesn’t have your physical card in hand, they can still make unauthorized transactions with your credit card number, PIN and security code. Someone could even use your card information to try to gain access to your other accounts.

Online Shopping Fraud

Some criminals use your saved card information to make unapproved purchases, as they have mastered the art of hacking their way into website accounts. A common situation occurs when shoppers use their accounts while connected to an unfamiliar Wi-Fi network, such as one at public places. Hackers can set up the exact legitimate networks with the intention of stealing the information of anyone who connects. Hence it’s always smart to shop, do your banking and handle any other sensitive information on a private Wi-Fi network you trust.

Phone scams

You may get a call from these fraudster claiming to be working from a certain bank or credit firms. They call asking for crucial information, such as your pin. If you receive this kind of call, don’t provide any information over the phone.


This is a number of malicious software variants, including viruses, ransomware and spyware. Malware could allow the criminal to access the device and information stored on it. Criminals use different techniques to install malware on another person’s device.

Child Identity Theft

This occurs when a child’s identity is compromised by fraudsters. Unfortunately, a good amount of child identity theft occurs within families. They can use Social Security numbers, birthdays, addresses and more to open fraudulent accounts. They may also apply for government benefits, take out loans or find other ways to rack up debt in the child’s name.

Signs of identity theft to look out for.

  1. When you get calls from credit and debt collectors about charges you didn’t make.
  2. Your financial statements have discrepancies, or your bank statement shows purchases or withdrawals you are not aware of.
  3. When you don’t get bills in the mail. Meaning someone has stolen your data and changed your billing address
  4. Getting unfamiliar charges on your credit card statement.
  5. You receive medical bills for services you didn’t receive.

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24 Mar 2021



Phishing is a type of social engineering attack often used to steal user data, including login credentials and credit card numbers.

It occurs when an attacker, masquerading as a trusted entity, dupes a victim into opening an email, instant message, or text message.

Phishing attacks are the practice of sending fraudulent communications that appear to come from a reputable source. It is usually done through email. The goal is to steal sensitive data like credit card and login information, or install malware on the victim’s machine.

Three Stages Of a Phishing Attack

Step 1: The Information (Bait)

The first of the three steps of a phishing attack is preparing the bait. This involves finding out details about the target. It can be as simple as knowing that they use a particular service or work at a particular business. If a service leaks a list of just email addresses of its users, criminals will be able to know all the owners of those email addresses. They will use that service and can target them with emails that pretend to be from that service.

In more sophisticated spear phishing attacks, cyber criminals can harvest details from your social media profiles in order to build a highly customized spear phishing message that is highly likely to convince you of its genuineness.

How to identify phishing attacks.

Glance at how your emails can be hacked.

Step 2: The Promise (Hook)

Once the attacker has acquired the necessary information to use as bait, they then need to lay out the hook. To actually make the target perform an action, the attacker needs to promise something or scare them into action.

In many scams the hook involves making the target believe that one of their accounts have been compromised. This creates a sense of urgency and making the target act quickly, perhaps without thinking. The attacker can then redirect the target to follow a link to a page where they can harvest the victim’s details.

Step 3: The Attack (Catch)

The third phase of phishing is the actual attack. The cyber criminal sends out the email, and prepares for the prey to fall for the bait.

What the attacker’s next action will be will depend on the nature of the scam. For example, if they used a landing page to gain the victim’s email password, they can then log in to the victim’s email account in order to harvest more information and start sending further phishing emails to the victim’s contacts.

Ways to Prevent Phishing Attacks

Don’t give your information to an unsecured site

If the URL of the website doesn’t start with “https” do not enter any sensitive information or download files.

Know what a phishing scam looks like

There are many sites online that will keep you informed of the latest phishing attacks and their key identifiers. The earlier you find out about the latest attack methods and share them with your users through regular security awareness training, the more likely you are to avoid a potential attack.

Install firewalls

Firewalls are an effective way to prevent external attacks, acting as a shield between your computer and an attacker.

Don’t give out important information unless you must

As a general rule of thumb, unless you 100% trust the site you are on, you should not willingly give out your card information.

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