Main menu


What is digital identity theft and how to protect yourself?

digital identity theft

Let me welcome you to the "" blog. Today, I will have identity theft explained in 2022. I will also show the consequences of it and both how to avoid danger and what to do if your identity's stolen.

what is digital identity theft?

It is a form of digital fraud where a criminal not only steals your data but also impersonates you with it. Impersonators then proceed to use stolen social security numbers, passports, or bank details to do whatever they want. It's no surprise that 67% of respondents to the Gallup Report admitted to being afraid of identity theft.

After all, statistics show that active social media users are 30% more likely to fall prey to identity fraud. Those with Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram accounts have that number at 46%. With their personality identifiable information on the surface, it's easy to steal it and assume the identity of the victim.

This is why data theft begins with this information. Fraudsters don't even need that much info to go with, any two or three out of this list will already allow them to figure out most of the data about you.

According to the latest Identity Theft, Statistics Report over 42 million people in the US alone ended up victims of identity theft last year. With over $53 billion in damages, each lost plenty of money and nerves to identity theft. The repercussions of identity theft are not just monetary, in one of the worst cases that only went to trial in 2016 an identity thief lived 26 years under a stolen persona.

The impersonated victim lost his family, house, and even a driver's license, while getting some sick criminal records for crimes he didn't even commit.

Digital identity theft on the rise

Back in 2010 another case of identity theft quickly lost almost $1 Million to a Maryland citizen. The 56-year-old David Krause lost all his retirement savings and ended up in a debt he expected would take at least five years to clear. but even after publicizing the identity theft criminals continued using his identity around the country. And while these cases are one of the worst ones, even the mild ones have proved to be devastating.

Not even celebrities can avoid identity theft. In 2014, a 19-year-old boy was convicted of running an identity fraud scam. He had PII on multiple celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Tom Cruise, and Paris Hilton. But both of those cases happened years ago when identity thieves had to hack or actively steal data to do their crimes.

How is identity theft perpetrated?

Today, you may find yourself disclosing your PII. That's true, phishing emails have become one of the methods used to commit identity fraud. Phishing emails may appear to be from a legitimate company and will invite you to fill out a form or click a link. This will frequently direct you to a bogus website meant to steal your information.

Another attack vector prevalent today is malware. Not so long ago the Trojan variant called Emotet was found secretly gathering and transferring credit card data from Google Chrome. You can imagine how much more data such a virus can extract from Google Chrome activity alone.

What should you do to prevent identity theft?

Quite often, however, a weak password can negate any identity theft protection and lead to identity theft. Data shows that usual six to eight-letter passwords, even with numbers, can take mere seconds to crack. Once a password falls into cyber criminals' hands, the data shall follow. Of course, let's not forget about the data breaches.

With only one more Facebook data dump, the dark web will be saturated with personal information. The worst aspect is that crooks may get this information for pennies on the dollar. Social security number, up to $8,000. Only $15 for a digital password scan. On average, potential losses are in the thousands.

Between malware, weak passwords, and phishing cases one thing is similar, ignorance. Identity theft victims are often unprepared to protect their data. Let's make sure you know how to prevent identity theft online. Recalling the attack vectors of identity theft there's a lot you can do.

Use two-factor authentication, and consider investing in cyber security software such as antiviruses, password managers, or VPNs. Antiviruses will take care of malware, VPNs provide secure browsing connections and password managers can reduce the risk of your passwords being cracked. But in any case, you should be careful of any third-party software you install. And, of course, remember to manage your privacy settings on social media.

The only thing you can't avoid yourself is data breaches from certain websites. So, let's pretend there's a case of identity theft, what to do in the first place? Well, there are many different routes but I'd recommend outsourcing financial help and contacting the authorities, from bank employees to the police.