In the vast and interconnecting world of online media, social and business platforms and networking; your reputation is all you have. Trust is often hard to gain and ever increasingly harder to maintain without face to face communication. A single bad review can set people questioning the online businesses veracity; yet a brick and mortar business can withstand a hundred negative reviews, simply because you can walk into the store and see for yourself.
Online stores and businesses find ways to combat the problem and gain trust with their customers; but it is an ever continuing fight to stay in the clear. The same can happen with an individual’s reputation; if you don’t protect it, it won’t stay clean for long.
How I got stung by cyber-criminals
So there I was, minding my own business, using all of the same devices that everyone else does, my laptop during my coffee shop stops over the weekend, my tablet on the train, my smart phone during work breaks and my PC at night. I can safely say that I am a techy; or so I thought… I am not new to being online or to using the latest technology.
I know how to protect myself and my personal information while not holding back on making online purchases or joining new social media sites. I keep my personal information sparse and separate, and try to give out the bare minimum of what is asked of me, when signing up to various sites online. However, I was not as cunning or self-sufficient as I thought; because one day I fell upon a very strange bank statement which wasn’t my own.
That is to say, it had my name on it, it even had the right address, down to the street number (How else would I have received it, otherwise?). The strange this about this statement was, I didn’t own a credit card. I strictly use debit cards to keep my credit ratings in the clear.
So where did this statement of 800 euros come from?
My head began to spin, I had an inkling of what had occurred… My identity was stolen. As easily as that, my private information, my reputation, my credit score, all on the line, why? Because of my silly mistake in not downloading the right antivirus software.
I called the bank, I went to the police, I file reports, I still had to either pay the 800 euros, or risk being taken to court, all this until the 4 months I had to wait until this mess was sorted. I had no proof, I had no way of telling them that I had been hacked, and my identity was stolen. The only thing I had, was a recommendation to look into identity protection services.
Identity protection services and me
Well, once bitten twice shy, I had no faith in my antivirus, I deleted it all and installed a much better one. I also took up on that professionals advance and looked into identity protection services. They had a whole host of ways to ensure that your information isn’t for sale on the dark web that your credit score is in the clear.
Identity thieves can open new accounts under your name, or even put their own name to your existing account, your ID in under threat, your social security number, your emails, or phone numbers, they can do some much harm to you if you don’t protect yourself.
I couldn’t believe what had happened to me, it was so simple for the cyber-criminals to target me and take away what was most precious to me; my good reputation. Without identity protection services, you might be at risk of being lugged with hundreds or even thousands of euros of someone else’s debt, but it will be your problem, because your name will be on the accounts.
Did you know that identity thieves that commit other crimes, and use your name and ID if court? Would you want your name on any court lists? Check your status today with identity protection services and hope you don’t have any nasty surprises.