What Is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is something that can happen to
anyone. With an increase in identity theft these days, anybody is at risk. Hackers
steal your information from a website you use when your password is weak.
Sometimes they will hack a whole database of users, and the company must
release a statement and sometimes even offer credit monitoring services. A lot
of times, someone might lose their wallet, and whoever picks it up ends up
using that credit card.
Identity theft happens when someone takes information from you and uses it for nefarious reasons, such as pretending to be you so they can steal your money. It can happen to anyone, even the most secure data can be breached by a clever hacker. This can be a very scary experience for anyone, especially when someone is a private person.
So, what can you do to protect yourself? Be careful who you give your information to. Do not share with everybody on the internet and keep your data private. This can work for anyone, but sometimes hackers can still find this information without you having done anything. What do you do then? Is identity theft in your future?
What Happens If My Data Is Stolen?
Identity theft is a very common thing that happens these days, unfortunately. Everyone is at risk of it happening to them, but many do not even know when it happens until it is too late. What do you do when your identity gets stolen? Well, it depends on the situation. If something happened to your wallet, it either got lost or stolen, your identity is at risk. Did you get emailed that someone hacked your account or even multiple accounts?
You need to change all your passwords right away to something completely unique. It is recommended to be 8 characters or more, along with having letters, numbers, and special characters. This makes it harder for a hacker to get into your accounts because there are more characters for his hacking program to go through. It will take a lot longer to do, so it is likely he would move onto another target before he could get your password.
When a company gets hacked and their users’ passwords get out, they usually will offer free credit monitoring to help you see if any new accounts are opened in your name. This tracks your data, so you can see if anything illegal happens. It is recommended to get new credit or debit cards, and any other information you can change, that was in your account. Do not forget to get your personal information removed from the internet! This can really help protect you when your data was stolen.
You can also get a free credit report once a year online. This is great to see if anyone does anything with your information account-wise. You may also want to call the big 3 credit reporting and monitoring companies to get a credit freeze on your accounts. This way you cannot open any more accounts that use your credit information, but neither can the hacker. You must pay a small fee to get your accounts frozen, but in the long run, it is worth the peace of mind.
What to Do First
These are the very first steps you need to take when your identity gets stolen.
- Call the companies’ fraud department.
- Get your accounts closed or frozen.
- Change login information for your accounts.
- Place a free fraud alert on your credit reports.
- Report the fraud right away.
- Optionally, you may report the fraud to the police as well.
What To Do Next
Here are some more steps you can take if someone steals your data:
- File your taxes as soon as possible. If someone stole your information, they could get your tax refund first.
- If anyone calls claiming you will go to jail if you do not pay them, and claims to be from the IRS, hang up. Do not give them any of your information, even if they already have some of it.
- Keep checking your credit report every day and do not forget to get your free one annually.
- Close any new accounts that were opened that you did not authorize.
- Get any fraudulent charges reversed.
- Get your credit report fixed.
- Add an extended fraud alert to your credit reports.
- Get your credit reports frozen, so no one can open an account in your name by using your credit information.
Other Important Steps to Take
The last few steps you can take involve:
- Report your social security number if misused.
- Stop any debt collections sent to you by contacting them and explaining what happened.
- Replace your driver’s license, passport, or social security number.
- Get your data removed from the internet.
What Happens When I Am Hacked?
Hacked Online Accounts
When your online accounts get hacked, it is important to take these steps right away:
- Change your password. Make sure it is unique and hard to guess. Memorize it and even if it is a long password do not write it down anywhere. You need to take the time to memorize it. This way there is no open record of your password because it is likely your account encrypts it online.
- If you have any other online accounts that use the same password as the one that was hacked, change those too. You should have different unique passwords for each website you visit.
- You should also look into a program that stores and encrypts your passwords for you. There are many out there, some included in your antivirus programs that may come with password storage. Make sure the information is protected though, you usually need one password to view your other passwords stored in these kinds of programs. But that password must be unique and different from your other ones!
- The password storage programs will save the website address, your username, and passwords, and any notes you may take in it. They are all protected by one single password that needs to be made as unique as possible. This is to protect your accounts with only one password that you need to memorize, instead of ten.
- If possible, change your username after changing your password. This can help prevent further fraud from occurring right away. Remember your new username, as the old one will be gone once changed.
- If you are unable to login to your account, contact the website and explain to them what happened. They will work with you to either get your account back to you or shut it down.
- Get your personal information online removed right away! This is a very important step to your safety.
If your wallet was stolen, these are the steps you need to take:
- Call the credit card company for your credit cards. Ask them to send you a new card with a different number and inform them to shut down the other one.
- When you do this and you receive the new card, remember to update any automatic payments you may have tied to the old card.
- The same steps apply if your debit card was stolen.
- Keep an eye on your credit card accounts. Make sure you do not see any fraudulent charges that you did not make. Contact the company as soon as you do.
- Just to be safe, keep an eye on your credit report too.
- If you have a driver’s license in that wallet, contact the motor vehicles branch in your area. Inform them about what happened, and they can also flag your license so if it is used, they can catch the person who stole it. This also helps keep you safe from harm.
- You can get a new driver’s license with a different number if need be.
Stolen Bank Information
When your bank account information gets stolen, you need to take the following steps:
- Inform your bank right away. Ask them to close your account and have them open a new one for you.
- As with the credit cards, keep an eye on your account. Report any transactions that you did not make.
- Update any automatic payments to your new account.
- Continuously check your credit report. You can do this through the big 3 credit bureaus, but they usually cost money.
- If you bank online, make sure you get your personal data removed from the internet.
Different Forms of Identity Theft
There are additional forms of identity theft that people do not tend to talk about. These include tax, child, and medical identity theft. These can be handled in the following matter:
Tax Identity Theft
- The IRS will send you a letter, showing someone used your social security number for tax purposes. Follow the instructions given to you.
- Complete the IRS Identity Theft Affidavit form.
- File and pay on your tax return.
- Start a fraud alert on your credit reports.
Child Identity Theft
- Call the company that your child’s information was put into and explain to them that your child is a minor.
- Ask them to close your child’s account.
- Find out if your child has a credit report. If they do, contact the credit bureaus and request that they remove the account due to fraud.
- Request a credit freeze on each credit report for your child.
Medical Identity Theft
- Contact your doctors and request your medical records.
- Report any errors on your medical records to your provider.
- Inform your health insurance provider about what happened.
- Contact the credit bureaus if there are any fraudulent medical charges on your credit reports.
If any of this has not happened to you, that is great. You still need to take some steps to prevent any of this from happening in the first place.
- Keep your account information secret. Make sure if you use a program to do so, it encrypts your data.
- Put a credit freeze on your accounts, so you and no one else can open a new account in your name.
- Use the identity protection service at Wiperts.com to protect your data.
- Get your personal information removed from the internet.
Find Yourself On Google
You can easily find your information online by just going to Google and doing a search for your name or email address. It may show up on the very first page and can be very disconcerting, so what do you do? You can use data protection websites to help monitor and remove your data from the internet.
Websites such as Wiperts.com will remove any personal information that you have given different websites without you having to lift a finger. This is important if you would like to remove all your information online, or just one account’s data. Sometimes places online will keep some of your data even after you canceled or closed your account. Identity protection services such as this can wipe the rest of the information available for you to protect your data.
Wiperts.com also will do a search in their database for your information anywhere on the web. This will show them any of your information that is anywhere online, whether it is easily googled or not. Then they will remove that data for you, so you do not get scammed by a hacker.
For them to do their work, you need to provide your full name, any addresses you may have lived at, and any phone numbers that may appear online. The information they can remove includes your personal home addresses, date of birth, any relevant phone numbers, all your income information, and anyone that is shown to be related to you. They can even remove information from white pages about you.
It will take Wiperts about 7 days or less to request your information to be removed from any database, however, it can take up to six weeks for you to see the changes. This is because nothing is automatic, they must get in touch with the company first and go from there. But rest assured, they will get it taken care of for you.
They have a 99% success rate at removing people’s data from the internet. This is very important, compared to other services that only remove some of your information. Some places even use this information for themselves. But at Wiperts.com, they guarantee your safety with them and will protect your information at all costs.
Wiperts.com also tracks your data across the world wide web. They will flag your accounts whenever your information gets used on a website. They will contact you to confirm this was you, and then remove the data if it was not. They will warn you to change account passwords and usernames if possible. You may also need to change your email address if someone has access to this information. This is very useful in order to protect yourself from having your data stolen in the first place. They will also protect you if your data was already stolen, by monitoring the stolen data on the web and seeing if anybody uses it elsewhere. This way they can remove it right away from any website.
They will keep monitoring your data until you no longer want to use their services. But you should keep your data monitored, because the next scam may be just around the corner. Wiperts can find your data and delete it before it becomes an issue.
They have many years of experience doing this job, where they can find and remove all that data that is found online. Their employees have technical backgrounds, so they know what they are doing when looking for and removing your information. They are fully trained to catch any issues with your data, and instantly request for its removal. This helps protect you from any fraud happening in the first place.
But what happens if Wiperts removes all your data online? Can you not use your accounts again? No, they only remove the information you ask them to remove. Want your name to still be googled, but do not want your addresses to show up? Wiperts will fix this for you. Your information is safe with them. Getting your personal information removed from the internet is a very important step in protecting your data. You need to get it removed as soon as possible, doing it yourself will not work. You may miss something and then the hackers can still get your information.
Not On Google, Then What?
Wait, so what if you do a google search and you cannot find yourself online on the first page? Do you consider yourself lucky and that you are safe? No, of course not. If someone wants to find your information online, especially if they are hackers or scammers, they will find it. They will not just look at the first page and think there is nothing there so skip it. They will keep searching until they find you and get all your information to steal from you. Do you enjoy having privacy? Then you need to get your information monitored today, so that data does not make it out into the public for anyone to find.
Identity theft can be a scary thing to have happen to you but following these steps above and protecting yourself will keep you safe from scammers. The hackers may be smart, but you need to be smarter by protecting yourself first. You can do this by signing up for Wiperts.com so they can remove your data before identity theft happens.