News sites present many helpful articles about cybersecurity and identity theft. Increasing awareness about internet safety does lead many to take extra precautions. Ironically, some may believe that increased instances of identity theft and data breaches make the problem mundane. In other words, people assume any troubles internet breaches create become easy to fix. You do not want to deal with identity theft and data breaches “after the fact.” The number of troubles you may find yourself won’t be easy to address. The rational approach involves employing smart safety measures such as not giving out personal information, safeguarding your password, and opting to use a free VPN
. Not everyone follows these steps and end up experiencing trouble. Here are a few examples of disasters that arise when you don’t keep yourself safe online
Credit History Could Become Wrecked
Once someone opens up a credit account in your name, any borrowing done with the account becomes associated with your social security number. That’s the SSN connected to your credit score. A thief who runs $25,000 up in charges he/she doesn’t pay just dumped debts and past-due bills on your credit report. Once you discover the problem, you must take appropriate steps to straighten things out. Until that time, the damage to a credit score stays in place. Your financial situation won’t look too good until the damaging information gets removed.
Legal Troubles Emerge
If someone opens a bank account in your name and writes checks that bounce, a warrant could go out for check fraud. The warrant would be in your name since the thief used your identity. Imagine finding yourself arrested after a routine traffic stop. The police officer won’t let someone with a felony warrant for writing $15,000 in bad checks go based on the person saying “It wasn’t me.” Straightening things out will take time and an expensive lawyer. Wouldn’t preventing things from occurring in the first place be wiser?
Reputation Suffers Unnecessarily
If someone using your identity does something illegal and embarrassing, your name might be the one in the newspapers. Friends, family, and potential employees could scour the internet and see your name associated with the incident. You absorb the reputation brunt of someone else’s actions. Yes, this may seem like an extreme scenario, but odder things do occur in the world.
Less extreme situations can arise that also create reputation troubles. Don’t suffer through them unnecessarily.
Personal Safety Experiences Threats
Financial and reputation troubles may become the least of your worries. What happens if a stalker or other physically threatening individuals find out where you live? Something as seemingly benign as giving out a phone number in a chat room could create a disaster scenario. Even when you don’t give out the information, hackers could figure out who you are. Picture that problem when wondering if you should use a free VPN. Nothing is more important than your personal safety. Don’t dismiss the possibility that online data or identity breaches might compromise all-important security.
What do all these situations have in common? Besides being potentially avoidable, all create stressful, challenging situations that aren’t easy to fix. A lot of time and money may be necessary to restore your life to normal. Consider it far easier to employ reliable preventive steps.