What is identity theft and how can I protect myself?

Your most valuable asset is you.


The most common way for thieves to get your details is on phishing sites that pretend to be well-known banks or other institutions. These are fake sites created to trick you into entering your details.
Protect your identity:

1.     Legitimate companies never send emails asking for personal information. No matter how authentic an email or caller might sound, it's always best to call them directly to check.

2.     Avoid using your own name or email address in chat rooms or message boards.

3.     Be careful when sharing personal details in online stores, social networking sites etc.

4.     Use a different email address for services and buying products, and keep your personal email address for friends and family. This will help you avoid spam too.

5.     Look out for dodgy sites, and learn how to spot fake ones. Check the web address and tone of the site. Often phishing sites look slightly different, so if you’re suspicious, don't use it. Call the company’s official phone number to make sure they are who they say.

6.     Don’t use the same password for everything. Firms like banks may be well protected, but even big corporations like Sony and social networks like Twitter have been hacked in the past.

If you use the same password for every account, data thieves can gain access to all your accounts. Be creative - even adding one number to your password for each site can make a difference.

7.     Check your bank and credit card statements regularly.

Need more help or advice? No problem! Get in touch with us at aup@virginmedia.ie