Data Theft in Digital World and Ways to Protect it

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We live in a world of digitization and because of our online presence in various forms and manners, a lot of our personally identifiable information is easily available to be accessed by anyone. And hence, nothing is more important for us today than ensuring our data security and data protection. If we don’t take our data protection seriously, we are at grave risk of our identities getting stolen and misused. And if this doesn’t convince you, maybe these very serious words of Dwight Schrute would!

Id theft meme

Image Source: wykop

Luckily protection plans can help you out, but before we get to that – let’s understand what ID theft is.

There have been several data breaches in news recently. In an article called ‘Emerging Trends’, Norton describes that a total of 4 billion user records have been breached in the year 2019 alone!! Some of the biggest cases have been mentioned in this article that goes on to explain the kind of data breaches that happened and records that could be stolen and/or accessed. Here are some interesting stats from the article:

  • There is 3,800 data breaches that we know about.
  • 1 billion records – names, addresses, phone numbers, email – have been exposed so far.
  • A 54% increase in the number of breaches being reported.

To know more about Data Identity Theft and what’s happening in India, check out these interesting links:-

 So where does all that stolen data go??

Sooner or later, the data stolen through hacking and security breaches end up in the deep trenches of online space called Dark Web, a hotbed of criminal activity where all kinds of data can be purchased or sold for huge amounts of money. Learn more about how the Dark Web and Data work on our website here:

01The data accessed from the dark web can be used to create fake accounts, for getting new credit cards, loans, and other financial services too.

 What can people do to protect their data?

Protection against ID theft can be done in many ways. Individuals can ensure their data security by following these steps:

  • Not clicking on links in emails as they could contain malware that links up to phishing scams.
  • Social engineering scams where someone pretends to be online retailers, governments and banks asking for card numbers, pin, emails, passwords via phone.
  • Avoid sharing personal data on social media platforms or block cards immediately after they’re lost.

 ID theft has graduated from physical documents to digital

Earlier, most of the IDs and credit cards we use would be kept safe in wallets. Thieves had to physically steal those wallets to access what was inside them. Sure, ID theft used to happen then too, but it was a less frequent phenomenon. Moreover, the affected individuals had to take the effort of going to their banks, calling the helpline number to cancel or deactivate their cards on their own.

Today, it’s a lot more complex than that as we have so many online accounts – it’s hard to keep track of how much information we have shared, stored on each one of these online accounts. Adding to that; all the security mistakes we do knowingly or unknowingly, like using the same password across multiple accounts for the sake of convenience; not changing the passwords or PINs regularly; publishing personal information like full name, contact number, address publicly.

Then we forget to hide such details – a lot of us don’t even know that it’s possible or how to do it.

In other words, there is so much more for an identity thief to choose from today.

 What do ID protection plans offer today?

On every website we visit, we create, store and use data such as:

  • Personal data – name, social accounts, phone numbers, card details, etc.
  • Behavioral data – cookies, pixels, fingerprinting, pages we click, etc.

This can be traced back to you, and that’s why it’s essential to get a service that helps prevent our data from being misused. A simple google search will lead to many services providing data and ID protection, but are they enough? With so much at stake, the protection plans for ID theft need to have more extensive coverage. Today, the top protection plan service providers work by monitoring public records, credit card reports, financial data and usage of each identification a user may possess – Aadhar, PAN, voter ID etc.

It may sound like its simple enough to track such documents, or monitor them and that there’s no need for an elaborate ID protection service. However, going for professional services may have certain advantages like:

  • The professionals can alert an individual the moment his/her information is accessed fraudulently and might be at risk.
  • The professionals can analyze an individual’s past online and financial activity to see if the individual’s information might have been compromised anytime.
  • The professionals can guide you on the next steps that can be taken to eliminate future risks.

 About OneAssist’s ID Fence protection plan

ID Fence is a PCI DSS compliant protection plan for ID theft that monitors a user’s PAN, bank accounts, debit and credit cards online, around the clock. It notifies you in real-time about any data theft via notifications sent directly to your email inbox.

The plan starts by providing a free report on all of one’s email accounts, cards and important identification documents assessed for a period of the last seven years. Going further, the monitoring process also covers data points, websites, dark web and social media.

What is the process of registering for ID Fence?

The registration works in a way somewhat similar to how other insurance plans work. What we mean is that one registers by filling in a form and providing vital information, pay a monthly premium as per the plan and we start monitoring the data provided. In a nutshell, these are a few steps to consider for registration:

– An individual can register himself and their family for this plan.

– Once the premium has been paid, the initial assessment is done and monitoring of the data begins.

– The user is notified in real-time if any suspicious activity pertaining to the user’s data is noticed.

– The plan aims to ensure coverage if something does happen and assistance on the next corrective steps.

– Precautionary measures are taken to prevent any future mishaps.

ID Fence – Start protecting yourself online now.

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