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3 steps to improve your identity theft protection

Jason Sattler

11.02.20 3 min. read

If you’ve been using the internet like a normal person, you probably have dozens of accounts — and way too few passwords. A shocking eight in ten people reuse passwords on multiple services, a behavior that increases the risks of account compromises significantly.

Even if you are securing all your accounts with banks, credit cards, online services, social media platforms, and webmail providers properly, you still may have had your private data spilled onto the internet in the endless breaches and leaks that businesses deal with on a constant basis.

Avoid being victimized by your own data

According to a new F-Secure report, most people think they’ll likely be victims of identity theft or cyber crime. And with good reason. Criminals who get ahold of personal data data try anything from hacking our critical accounts to taking over our identities. Or—if the crooks think you’re worth it—they’ll use the data for a targeted attack.

“Every data breach is a reminder that protecting private data requires more than securing our devices,” says F-Secure Global Partner Product Advocate Fennel Aurora.

Every year, the number of cyber crimes reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) grows in both in number in financial impact.

Most of the cyber security advice that began circulating in the early days of the web is still relevant today. You should still keep your software updated. Clicking on unexpected attachments is still a bad idea. Running top-notch security software is still smart. However, no matter how well you secure your devices, you can’t secure your data when it’s stored inside someone else’s networks.

Data breaches don’t just expose our personal information; they expose our dependency on companies around the world. The good news there are some simple identity theft protection basics you can do that could avoid the misery of recovering from these far too common crimes.

Forget your passwords

If you can remember your passwords, they’re probably not strong enough to protect your accounts. So what do you do with more than a dozen passwords you cannot remember? The solution to this problem is a reliable password manager. You can use our F-Secure KEY — which is part of F-Secure TOTAL — for free on any one device.

Secure all your accounts with two-factor authentication

The best password in the world can still be compromised if it is not properly secured by the site you’ve trusted it with. That’s why you should use two-factor authentication to secure your accounts wherever it is available. But keep in mind that it is possible to bypass multi-factor authentication by accessing emails and mobile phone messages. So for extra security, use an app like Google Authenticator or an external device like YubiKey as your second factor.

Check how exposed you are now

Lists of breached user credentials often circulate among scammers who collect them in order to turn this information into some sort of attack that monetizes your data. This can include phishing, spam, and the spreading of malware. And since the attack can be targeted, it is far more likely to be successful than typical spam. How can you know how vulnerable you are?

F-Secure’s new free IDENTITY THEFT CHECKER offers the clearest view available into the kind of dangers you face from data breaches and other disclosures of private data. The tool combines the most effective dark web monitoring available with human Intelligence that utilizes “undercover” agents and decrypting technology to identify risks faster and with greater detail.

Check out the IDENTITY THEFT CHECKER to get a Breach Report that reveals your email account’s exposure on the dark web.

Jason Sattler

11.02.20 3 min. read


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