Different digital services make each of our lives easier. That being said, it is good to remember to take good care of your own profile and thus minimize the risk of being subject to identity theft. In short, this "theft" is about someone getting your private account to their own disposal. Restoring rights to the correct owner can be time-consuming, so we encourage you to use the following tips to keep your account and profile secure.
DO NOT DISCLOSE YOUR PERSONAL DATA WITHOUT GOOD REASON
- Think carefully which website you trust with your personal information. Also, when handing over your personal information, make sure that you are fully aware of what the counterparty will use your information for and that you have given your permission to do that.
- Check the account information for the services you are using to ensure that there are no old email addresses. Also be mindful of what links you click - whether it's an email, text message or WhatsApp message from someone close to you. A link may not take you where it looks at first glance.
BENEFIT FROM TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTIFICATION
- When available, activate two-factor or strong authentication for all digital services you use. You can also find instructions for this in the service providers' own channels.
- Do not store information containing passwords or PINs in such a way that they may be compromised. For example, do not keep your debit card identification number in the same place as your card. Use different passwords for different services. Password management application makes everyday life easier.
- Make sure that the network hardware and operating system software you are using, as well as the anti-malware software are up-to-date. These should be updated regularly. The same goes for mobile applications. With these, you can set up automatic updates to make everyday life easy.
- Keep your work and private accounts and profiles separate, and follow your employer's security guidelines regarding, for example, use of different digital services and platforms.
DON'T PANIC, BUT ACT FAST
- However, if, despite all the precautions, you find yourself subject to potential identity theft, due to e.g.
- Receiving invoices for unsolicited products / services
- Your credit / debit card being used unauthorized
- Your pictures and / or personal information being displayed on a digital service where you are not registered
- Encouraging, phishing, or other malicious content being sent on your name or via your social / email account
- A digital service where you have an account / profile will trying to log in with your account and you are not doing it yourself
- You not being able to log in to your account / profile
ASK FOR THIRD PARTY HELP WHEN NECESSARY
Inform your partners and associates immediately. If, on the other hand, you find that a person in your immediate circle has been the victim of identity theft, inform them by phone or DM. However, make sure that the recipient is the right person and that the messages do not end up in wrong hands.
- In addition, all social media services have the possibility to report such situation to the service provider. If you find that someone else's account is in trouble - report it immediately! Doing so will help your friend and further damage is often avoided.
- More detailed instructions can be found e.g. from Victim Support Finland's web page: How can I protect myself from identity theft and reduce the risks of other crimes resulting from it?
And last but not least, don't worry too much! Digitalisation enables you to do a lot of cool stuff, so at the end of the day, information security is just like brushing your teeth. A day-to-day thing that everyone can take care of to prevent damage.
Barona processes a large amount of personal data every day, and protecting the privacy of our employees and customers is not just a matter of heart - it is the bedrock of our business.
Tips for the blog were provided by Barona's IT Manager and cyber security expert Heikki Paananen.