SecurityBrief Asia logo
Asia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

The most common types of identity theft and top ten ways to avoid it

Identity theft occurs when a criminal steals your personal information and uses it to impersonate you, looking to take your money, sensitive data, and other personal assets.

A 2022 Norton survey on cybercrime shows that more than one in five New Zealanders surveyed (21%) report having ever experienced identity theft, with 5% surveyed having been impacted in the last year alone.

Put yourself ahead of today’s identity thieves by learning about five of the most common types of identity theft and how to prevent that from happening to you.    

Financial identity theft  

The most common type of identity theft, financial identity theft is where criminals steal passwords, phone numbers, emails, addresses, and other types of personal data to use for their own financial gain. According to the same recent Norton research, 47% of identity victims in New Zealand surveyed had their credit card(s) frozen, and 29% surveyed had their money stolen. ID theft warning signs:  

  • Unexplained charges on your credit card or bank statement   
  • Notifications of a new credit card or loan  
  • Calls from debt collectors   

 Criminal identity theft   

Criminal identity theft occurs when a person arrested by law enforcement provides your name and other identifiable information instead of their own. They could potentially do this by getting their hands on a stolen drivers license or creating a fake ID.   
ID theft warning signs:  

  • Court summons received in the mail  
  • Unexpected warrants for your arrest  
  • Failed background checks   

Synthetic identity theft  

Synthetic identity theft involves creating fake identities with real people’s information. Identity thieves can blend stolen addresses, birthdates, and IRD numbers to make fake personas. They may then use those identities to carry out the usual crimes associated with identity fraud, such as credit card and insurance fraud.   

Synthetic ID theft warning signs:  

  • Notifications of a new credit card or loan          
  • Calls from debt collectors  

Top ten ways to prevent identity theft 

1. Freeze your credit  

Freezing your credit temporarily restricts access to your credit history. This helps prevent identity thieves from opening new lines of credit or taking out loans in your name. It’s one of the best ways to put a stop to identity thieves because it's free to do with all three of the major credit bureaus.

2. Shred important documents  

You should always shred important documents and remember to delete any unneeded files containing financial documents from your desktop and trash folder. Identity thieves often fish through trash cans and hack into computers for sensitive documents to put their plans in
motion.  

3. Set up banking alerts   

Many banks offer you the option of opting in to email and text notifications. These alert you when you or someone else makes charges on your account. You should enable these notifications to stay on top of what transactions hit your account and where they’re from in case you run into any unexplained purchases.    

4. Keep an eye on your mailbox   

One of the best ways you can avoid mail fraud is remembering to check your at-home mailbox and email inbox daily. Also consider getting a lockable mailbox, put a hold on mail when traveling, or keep an eye out for signs that someone is also using your account.  

5. Consider using a digital wallet  

To help ensure your information remains encrypted when making a purchase, you should consider using a digital wallet. This is an app typically pre-installed into the software of your smartphone that stores secure, digital versions of your credit and debit cards on your phone.  

6. Safeguard mobile devices   

It’s important to secure your mobile devices, to help protect against identity theft, as spyware is just one of the threats to your mobile security. Remember to always lock your phone and to only download trustworthy apps.

7. Use a VPN  

Identity thieves may monitor public Wi-Fi networks to try and steal unprotected information from vulnerable users. If you are on public Wi-Fi, use a VPN. These encrypt your data and activity so cybercriminals can’t track your digital footprint. 

8. Use strong passwords  

Creating strong, unique passwords for all your online profiles can make it difficult for identity thieves to use hacking methods like credential stuffing and password spraying to break into your accounts. Password managers are great at helping you create and organise hack proof passwords.  

9. Enable two-factor authentication  

Enabling two-factor authentication on your accounts can help prevent identity thieves from getting into accounts and databases that hold your most important information. With the help of biometric protection from fingerprint scanning and facial recognition, replicating your identity becomes next to impossible.  

10. Install antivirus software   

Antivirus software is another tool you can use to add an extra layer of protection against common identity thieves.  This can make getting access to your private information much harder and allow you to use your devices with a sense of confidence.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from SearchInform
Val Novoselova joins us today to to discuss new trends in the information security space, and how SearchInform is adapting to some of the new trends we are seeing.
Story image
Secure Code Warrior
Secure Code Warrior announces Coding Labs innovation
Coding Labs mechanisms allow developers to move from learning to applying secure coding knowledge more efficiently, leading to fewer code vulnerabilities.
Story image
Phishing
Vectra Protect team finds Microsoft Teams vulnerability
The Vectra Protect team identified a post-exploitation opportunity in August, allowing malicious actors to steal valid user credentials from Microsoft Teams.
Story image
Cybersecurity
StackHawk launches deeper API security test coverage
Expansion of test coverage includes custom scan discovery, custom test scripts and custom test data for REST APIs.
Story image
Ransomware
Absolute recognised in KuppingerCole Leadership Compass 2022
The company's Absolute Secure Access was recognised for its ability to protect users and resources while improving the remote worker experience.
Story image
Observability
Virtualisation Security Market to reach over $7 billion by 2032 - report
A new report from Future Market Insights has found that the Virtualisation Security Market is anticipated to reach a valuation of US $7.6 billion.
Story image
Software Defined Wide Area Network
Versa Networks recognised as Leader in Magic Quadrant for SD-WAN
The company has been positioned as a Leader for its ability to execute and convey completeness of vision in the Magic Quadrant.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Cyber security incidents more common in APAC - report
Chief financial officers in the Asia Pacific are woefully uninformed about their company's cyber security risks, according to a new report.
Story image
IT infrastructure
Check Point Software Technologies launches new Horizon innovation
There is now a need for all organisations to have a security operations centre with 24/7 monitoring, response, and threat-hunting capabilities.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
ForgeRock announces next gen identity orchestration capabilities
ForgeRock has launched identity orchestration capabilities to enable enterprises to deliver improved user experiences secured by threat protection.
Story image
Ransomware
Commvault unveils early warning system, Metallic ThreatWise
A first among data protection vendors, the new cyber deception service detects and contains ransomware threats.
Story image
Security vulnerabilities
Claroty finds seven vulnerabilities in Dataprobe iBoot-PDU
The Claroty research team (Team82) has found seven vulnerabilities in Dataprobe's iBoot-PDU, the company's intelligent power distribution unit product.
Story image
IoT security
Nozomi Networks and WALLIX strengthen OT network security
By combining WALLIX and Nozomi Networks solutions, end-to-end visibility and traceability for maximum security in an industrial environment is provided.
Story image
Cloud Security
CrowdStrike launches new partner program to expand routes to market
"We developed the CPSP program in partnership with GSIs, MDR vendors, MSPs, MSSPs and Telcos to ensure we were meeting their needs and empowering them."
Story image
Encryption
Entrust advances Sigma Instant Issuance Platform for cards
Unique light curing module for Entrust Sigma instant issuance systems brings new financial card durability and personalization to card issuers.
Story image
Customer Relationship Management
Why Managed Service Providers are the next big target
MSPs are now such an integral part of the digital ecosystem that companies trust more of their sensitive data with them
Story image
Cloud
Netskope launches enhancements to cloud firewall solution
Netskope has announced key enhancements to Netskope Cloud Firewall, the firewall-as-a-service (FWaaS) component of its converged SASE platform.
Story image
Phishing
Barracuda adds Zero Trust Access to enhance email security
The new capabilities allow customers to control access to email systems and Microsoft 365 applications on a need-to-know basis, enhancing email security.
Story image
Partnerships
Concentric AI, Snowflake to enhance data security posture
The integration benefits joint customers by making Concentric AI's data security posture management capabilities readily available on the Snowflake Data Cloud. 
Story image
Cryptocurrency
Crypto giveaway scams continue to soar, according to report
There's been a fivefold increase in the number of domains used for crypto giveaway scams that involve fake YouTube streams in the first half of 2022. 
Story image
Web Development
Oracle reveals and releases new Java 19 updates
Oracle has announced the availability of Java 19, which is set to deliver performance, stability, and security improvements for developers.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Test your API Security with Infinite API Scanner
The effectiveness of API scanning technology can mean the difference between successful and unsuccessful programming outcomes, and often enterprises and IT leaders struggle to get it right.
Story image
Malware
SonicWall threat report mid-year update highlights significant threat variance
The 2022 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report mid-year update from SonicWall gives an in-depth insight into many of the current trends across the threat landscape.
Story image
Distributed Denial of Service
Reevaluating DDoS protection for a changing threat landscape
DDoS attacks are gaining in frequency, intensity, duration, and complexity, with attackers employing more vectors
Story image
Software Defined Wide Area Network
Fortinet named Leader for SD-WAN in 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant
The company has announced it has been positioned highest in ability to execute for two years in a row and recognised for completeness of vision.
Story image
Software-as-a-Service
Varonis unveils new security features for Salesforce admins
Data security firm adds one-click permissions comparison and analysis features for Salesforce admins, saving them time while improving security posture.
AWS Marketplace
Whitepaper: A practical guide for mitigating risk in today’s modern applications
Link image
Story image
Enterprise
Delinea shares the importance of PAM, partners and security for modern enterprise
Identity-based security is becoming a crucial tool for modern enterprises as they continue to adapt to different working environments.
Story image
Compliance
Security and compliance challenges halt innovation strategies
"What’s needed is a new mindset and a fresh approach, one in which security and compliance are continuous and actually speed innovation."
Story image
Data Protection
Barracuda adds web security in Zero Trust Access solution
The latest release of Barracuda CloudGen Access protects users from malicious web content and strengthens integration with identity providers.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Hands-on review: Yubikey 5C NFC
Founded in 2007 and specialising in computer and network security, the Swedish company Yubico is now a leader in global authentication.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Aqua Security solution to stop software supply chain attacks
Development and security teams can now proactively address the most critical software supply chain risks from code through runtime.
Story image
Malware
Absolute Software extends persistence technology to Trellix
Customers can benefit from Absolute’s firmware-embedded connection, ensuring that Trellix's endpoint protection solution remains effective and healthy.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Report highlights gaps in trust between enterprises and consumers
ISACA defines digital trust as the confidence in the integrity of relationships, interactions and transactions among providers and consumers.
Story image
Firewall
Barracuda tackles intensified threat landscape with latest releases
"The Barracuda XDR solution combines data across our security stacks through a single dashboard view, giving us the visibility we need."
Story image
Malware
August's top malware: Emotet knocked off top spot
FormBook is now the most prevalent malware, taking over from Emotet, which has held that position since its reappearance in January.
Story image
Network Security
20/20 visibility key to improving network security
IT leaders around the world share a ubiquitous appetite for greater network visibility, according to a new study from Infoblox.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence in cybersecurity - Future Market Insights
It is projected that revenue through the software segment in the AI in the cybersecurity market will grow at 15.8% CAGR during the forecast period. 
Story image
Cybersecurity
Confidence in security challenges of hybrid work improving
84% of IT professionals have some degree of confidence in their user access security systems to enable remote work securely and easily, up from 56% in 2021.
Aws Marketplace
Learn how to implement a backup and recovery plan for a new generation of Kubernetes-based modern applications
Link image