ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Protect Your Identity on Internet - 1

Updated on May 2, 2016

Your online identity consists of a number of unique details that ideally only you should know. Which some people might think that your name, address, credit card information and account number are the only bits of sensitive information that require protection, there are many other details that can be used to steal your identity. Your IP address, usernames and password, PIN numbers, account numbers, and even your secret questions for passwords can all be used in combination or individually for identity fraud.

A computer user working offline need not worry much about identity theft as long as his PC is protected with a decent login and password and he does not leave it unattended. Once you go online , however, you are vulnerable to various methods of attack. The biggest advantage for ID thieves online is that they do not have to physically steal your information or even steal information at all. More often than not, users unknowingly hand over their details through malicious spam email, messages and websites.

What Is the Threat ?

Any official or financial activity, transaction or documentation requires a person to furnish identity proof. Whether you are purchasing a new SIM card for your phone, purchasing something with a credit card, booking a flight or applying for a loan, none of these activities can be completed without ID proof, so it is obvious that you need to maintain the secrecy and legitimacy of your identity.

Should your personal details fall in the wrong hands, they can be used to open bank accounts, apply for loans, create email IDs and accounts on social media sites, or even purchase expensive items using bills, thereby ruining your credit history and even affecting your reputation.

The hardest part about identity theft is that you will not be aware of it until you have noticed discrepancies in your bills or have been contracted about controversial or unacceptable material being posted by someone using your identity. Often, an intelligent attacker will know how to regulate these details to avoid detection.

How It's Done

Your personal and confidential details can be stored in many ways and sometimes not even directly from you, but rather from a service provider that has not taken sufficient security safeguards to protect its customers.

The simplest way for a fraudster to gather information from an unsuspecting user is to fool them into submitting the details themselves. Phishing mails are sent out to multiple email addresses requesting bank account information, passwords, PINs or credit card details under the cover of a legitimate-looking website. This is a hit-or-miss process, where only a fraction of the recipients to steal a considerable number of identities, which they can them use or distribute.

Trojans are also a very common cause of identity theft. Trojans are viruses that infect your system and then dispatch information saved on your PC such as login IDs and password or track keystrokes with which hackers can determine other personal details. Key-logging is a legitimate feature that many applications incorporate for functions such as parental control, hot keys and corporate security. Illegal key-logging software, however, can be designed to detect certain keystrokes when accessing specific sites such as your email, social media profiles or secure banking sites, thereby recording your user ID and passwords.

Password strength is something that all sites stress upon, and for good reason. Cracking a long password containing different cases, characters and symbols takes a lot longer than a password is a common word or phrase. Another point often stressed on is to have different passwords for different sites, so that a hacker cannot access all your accounts if he cracks the password any one of them.

Users that do not heed these warnings often end up losing data and information from multiple profiles as hackers glean through their accounts and gather information. For example, skimming through an average user's e-mail, Facebook,Twitter and online bank accounts can provide a hacker with all required personal information, credit card and financial details to apply for a new credit card or bank loan.

Another source of credit card information that hackers often target are payment has gateways. Online shopping and bill payment has gained popularity in India over the last few years and now several services such as cell phone network providers, Internet services, e-shopping sites,etc are beginning to often online bill payment directly through their sites.

While most of these businesses are reliable and provide sufficient information to prove that your credit card information will be safe, some sites could have loopholes in their security measures or might fail to create a secure connection, in which cases, attackers can easily access your credit card information and use it to make purchase online in your name.

A more recent form of identity theft, and one of major concern, is through social networking and social media sites. the danger with these services is that they are popular among youngsters, who are unaware of what type of information must not be shared online and how this information and use it to make purchases online in your name.

Users with Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Flickr or any other such social media accounts often have weak privacy or security settings and also sometimes divulge too much information. Even something as simple as a status update or a video mentioning the names of your family members, pets or friends, birthdays can be used to hack accounts and create duplicates or elicit data.

Identity fraud beginning with information collected from social media sites is often opportunistic where the attacker happens upon an accounts which lets strangers view all the information shared.

Part - 2 of this Thread



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)