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How are Online Criminals Stealing Your Information?

Brian J Smith Jan. 27, 2013

Identity theft cases are becoming more and more popular. It is all too common to now find out that either your credit card information was stolen, a virus was sent to you via email or instant message that can now access your hard drive, or even that companies are calling and emailing you that you never heard of! How does all this happen from simply browsing a few popular sites or just making one small purchase on Amazon?

Stanford University discovered a few interesting facts that may just shock you, many in regards to social media:

  • There are 1,000’s of malicious Android apps consumers have unknowingly downloading that can track your information and even access your address book!

  • 70% of criminals truly target the source where they know people will be including their Social Security numbers and private information (loan companies, banking sites etc.)

  • Millions of Facebook users have no idea how to control their privacy settings leaving information such as location, primary phone numbers, maiden names and more for everyone to see.

  • Numerous websites such as NBC will share your email and other information with partner sites right after they receive the information

Staying Protected

How can you guard yourself from shifty online users and criminals?

  • Never open unknown emails, especially ones that have odd subjects or say things such as “Check out my vacation photos!”. Usually these are spam and carry viruses within their attachments

  • Ask a friend or research the best ways to protect your social media networks. You never want to accidentally supply the wrong people with passwords hints or codes to important information.

  • Consider setting up automatic payments over the phone for monthly bills. This way you only have to go through the process once and are not forced to share your information online each and every time you pay a bill.

  • Look into getting a Paypal account and if you already have one, then use it more! Paypal blocks predators from obtaining your credit card number or Social Security number. It is also accepted by most payment services and money can easily be transferred to and from your bank account.

If you have already fallen victim to online identity theft and criminals hire a trusted defense lawyer to hear your case. These cases are becoming more and more popular as the power of technology increases so you are not alone. A defense lawyer will help you get your money back and your life in order once again.