Computer and mobile device users are at risk of having their identity stolen while connected online. If you shop, bank, email, or text using the internet or a network, your personal information could be taken by a cyber-criminal. If you are a working parent or cash-strapped student, this can be a serious problem. Having an effective antivirus program can prevent this from happening, and Webroot Internet Security Plus can help.

Identity Theft: How Does it Happen?

Identity theft can happen in a myriad of different ways when working, browsing, or communicating online. Hackers will usually try to convince a user into giving up personal information or installing malware on their system that will harvest data. This can include stealing bank account numbers, social security numbers, and even medical records. Specially designed malware can access data and send it to a remote server where a cybercriminal can then sell it. All this can happen even without the user knowing about it.

Some viruses and malware are created just to spy on users and monitor their every move. They can be downloaded willingly by users themselves on websites that seem legitimate.

Malware can infect almost any software on users’ systems, such as operating systems, web browsers, and office suites and use these to access personal information. Being able to spot or detect these malware infections before it is too late is crucial to protecting your identity.

If you have your social security number, driver’s license, or passwords stored on your system, hackers can take these which can ultimately result in your identity being stolen.

Catching identity theft is not easy or quick. By the time you have figured out that it was taken, your bank accounts could be wiped clean of their assets. An ounce of prevention is certainly worth a pound of cure with regards to identity theft.

Read our complete review of Webroot Internet Security Plus here to learn about how it can protect your identity.

Threats That Can Steal Your Identity

Hacked Social Media Sites

Major social media sites such as Facebook are not invulnerable to hackers. If you use one regularly, you are at risk of having your personal information stolen. Unfortunately, no antivirus program will keep social media sites from being hacked. Therefore, it is up to the user to exercise caution when giving up personal information to social media sites.

Phishing

Phishing involves a cybercriminal employing social engineering tricks to convince users into giving up personal information. This is similar to catching fish in the sea with bait, except the haul for the thief is your data. They craft special messages and interactive websites directed at the emotions of users, such as greed or fear. Many phishing attacks take place via emails that appear as legitimate and trustworthy. These can include co-workers or business emails. When users click on the posted link, they are often lead to a website that asks for login credentials which it can capture.

Spyware

Once a user installs spyware on their system, it will “spy” on them and collect useful personal information. Social engineering tactics are often employed to convince users into downloading these types of malware. Spyware also can be secondary Trojan payloads that are attached to downloads. In this case, spyware will be difficult or impossible to spot until it has already infected their system.

Keyloggers

Keyloggers are a malicious form of malware that can monitor user’s keystrokes to steal useful information, such as passwords and account numbers. They will then send this data to a cyber criminal’s server for later use. A user’s identity can very easily be stolen in this way.

Protection From Identity Theft

There are some effective ways of preventing identity theft, and many involve using security software. Having a password manager can prevent hackers from stealing them from your computer. Antivirus software packages often include password managers, along with other protection tools that can stop identity theft. If you use a smart mobile device, using two-factor identification can help stop a thief from accessing it.

Lastly, checking your credit reports and financial accounts regularly can stop some of the consequences of identity theft before they become too costly.

Webroot Internet Security Plus can help protect your identity by detecting and stopping these threats before they have a chance to cause you any harm.

To Recap…

The internet has provided many types of opportunities for people from all walks of life. However, identity theft is one risk associated with regular online PC and mobile device usage. Whether you are a working parent or cash-strapped student, having an effective antivirus program can help you stay protected from this threat. And, Webroot Internet Security Plus is designed to provide this protection.

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