To steal your identity, cybercriminals must catch you off guard. A momentary lack of concentration and the necessary information could be transmitted without protest, almost unconsciously.

Like all scams, identity theft works when you least expect it.

Cybercriminals use various techniques to help them steal your ID and current account content. These are five of the most common phishing techniques.

1. identity theft

Phishing emails and text messages (sent via SMS, Twitter, Skype, or any other instant messenger you can think of) can be used to trick you into divulging your personal information. All it takes is an urgent, seemingly genuine message, and moments later you're handing over all your personal information, no questions asked.

Why would you do this? This is due to the way the post is designed, the graphics included, and a cloned website. Scammers make copies of the websites of banks, credit card companies, PayPal, and even eBay. There are a few logos in the right place, a form to fill out, and moments later, you voluntarily submit your data.

In almost all cases, a phishing email can be caught early. Mail filtering software will often detect this. But if not, take a moment to read it. There will almost certainly be grammar issues, spelling errors, and formatting errors. No financial institution would post emails that appear unprofessional.

Beat Phishing: Don't click on links in messages and emails that claim to be from your bank, PayPal, etc. Instead, open a browser window and sign in to confirm or reject the details of the message.

(Image credit: Pixabay)

2. Skim

Instead of physically stealing your credit card, cybercriminals rely on technology to clone the details. This information can be used to create a duplicate card or entered at checkout in an online store.

How can this happen? Lightweight, palm-sized machines can be used to clone your map. They "skim" the data from the black tape, which is then used to make a copy. This is a technique that has spread to ATMs and service station forecourts.

Avoid theft: always keep your card in your hand; use contactless payments when possible; check ATMs for fake facias and skimmers.

Using social media gives you an internet presence that leaks useful information to cybercriminals. A key example is Facebook, where you can find information about your hometown, your family, your job, and even your spending habits.

With a public profile, public posts, and tagging, chances are anyone can find out everything they need about you to steal your identity. The places you've been, where you live, who you know, your date of birth - it's all there.

In recent years, Facebook has taken steps to improve user privacy. However, it is likely that you are not using this setting correctly. Check this by checking your latest Facebook post. If there is a globe next to the date, it is public.

Protect social networks: Secure your account, making sure all information, photos and updates can only be seen by friends. On Facebook, use Settings > Privacy to make these changes. You may also consider reducing your friends list or deleting your account.

4. Shoulder surfing

Rather than rely on technology to capture your credit card details, some scammers prefer a more traditional approach. They go through ATMs and stores to observe the PIN codes that people enter. This technique, which generally involves moving closer to the target (or "mark"), is called "shoulder surfing." After all, they are looking over your shoulder!

Shoulder surfing means that the attacker must have eagle eyes to spot the numbers used in your PIN. Of course, the number must also be memorized. But that's not enough for identity theft, is it?

As you've probably guessed, shoulder surfing is often a precursor to robberies or even old-fashioned pickpocketing. As soon as a criminal has their hand on your card, along with the PIN code, they have the upper hand.

Avoid shoulder navigating – make sure you cover the keypad when entering your PIN at an ATM or checkout.

(*two*)1655378316 363 The 5 most common ways in which criminals carry

(Image credit: Shutterstock / metamorworks)

5. Unsecured networks

Despite improvements in wireless security, insecure networks still exist. For example, you may have an old router at home; Although you must connect using a secure WPA2 connection, your router cannot offer anything more secure than WEP. Meanwhile, your local cafe may be left with a misconfigured Wi-Fi network. Or it could be the train station, the bus station, the public library, the mall, or even the soccer field. Anywhere you could use an unsecured Wi-Fi connection.

Whatever the reason, the lack of a secure connection can be devastating to your online privacy.

Various risks threaten your online security. Unsecured routers with public access backdoors, for example. Poor Wi-Fi security allows data you send to the Internet through the router to be "sniffed" and read. Or scammers who set up fake Wi-Fi networks to trick you into sending your data through your device.

Secure networks: If this is your network, update the router; If you're using public Wi-Fi, make sure you're using a VPN.

Awareness is the key to fighting identity theft

You have probably heard of some of these phishing techniques. However, you probably never thought that you would be surprised. After all, you have almost nothing in your bank account. So who would care?

Unfortunately, the reality is that Joe Public is easier to steal than a Hollywood star, Premier League footballer or industrialist. Therefore, awareness of phishing, skimming, shoulder surfing, and the risks of unsecured networks is vital. And the less you share on social media, the better.

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