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Identity theft happens when one’s personal information is stolen and used to conduct transactions, usually online.
Identity thieves often steal the personal information they need by accessing your online profiles or accounts, where they can see important information such as banking details, your name, address and ID number.
The thieves take this information and use it to create credit cards, bank statements and IDs in your name. Then, whilst pretending to be you, they use your credit accounts or open new ones, sometimes taking loans as well.
Identity theft results in the abuse of these credit accounts and loans.
This can put you into a large amount of debt if it goes unnoticed. A victim of identity theft can also suffer a bad credit score, and may be prevented from opening credit accounts or taking out loans in the future.
While it is important to keep your personal information protected by using strong passwords for your online accounts, and antivirus programmes to defend against hacking and viruses that can steal such information, you may still fall victim to a cyber crime such as identity theft due to increasingly advanced technology. The results of online identity theft and other cyber crimes can be financially devastating.
With consumers becoming digital savvy and transacting more online, it would be advisable to look at covering yourself with cyber insurance, which provides cover for various cyber crimes like cyber theft (including online identity theft), cyber liability, cyber bullying, and the recovery of lost data.
Feature image: ar130405 via Pixabay (CC0)
This article is sponsored by Dialdirect Insurance Ltd an authorised financial services provider (FSP 15259).