Once you are caught in the trap of an identity theft, your life no longer remains the same. You have so much to think about, so much to change and so much to learn. As soon as you discover that you have become a victim, your first immediate measure should be reporting identity theft.
You should protect yourself from the further consequences of theft.
1. Report the fraud
The first and foremost step should be to report the case as early as possible. Reporting identity theft is very crucial so as to notify the authorities about the delinquency. Report it to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), an agency for consumer protection for the citizens of USA. Also, report it to the local police.
There are several organisations such as ITRC, IDSP, etc. working for protecting individuals from identity theft where you can contact. There are several organisations such ITRC, IDSP, etc. working for protecting individuals from identity theft which you can also contact.
2. Sign in the account which was hacked –
After facing an identity theft, it is very important to check and reset the settings of your account, see if there’s anything fishy or any changes are present. The identity thief can make some changes in your account so that it can be easily accessed. The attacker can easily access your account if you forget to reset the settings.
If your account can’t be accessed, then immediately change the password using email authentication. If you don’t remember the email credentials you used, then you will have to contact the website’s administrator.
3. Password management-
Change your passwords regularly and always use strong passwords. As you already are a victim of identity theft, the least you can do is change the passwords of all your accounts. Make sure to use a different password for every account so as to minimise the chances of revealing all your accounts. Also, try to keep answers of the security questions in such a way that they are not obvious and cannot be easily guessed.
Never store your passwords in your computer, mail, etc. Instead, you can use a password management software. By using this, you don’t have to remember so many strong passwords. You only have to remember the key password of the software. All other passwords will remain safe.
4. Activating two-factor (or more) authentication-
Try to use two-factor authentication i.e. two steps verification, if available. Using multiple steps for the purpose of authentication will provide you more security. Besides your password, you will have one or more authentication step. It requires the use of your mobile phone. So even if your password is known to an unauthorised person, he/she still can’t access your account. The two-factor authentication involves sending an OTP (One Time Password) via SMS or any other method. This step is very helpful to protect yourself from further online identity theft.
It is very important to protect your identity even after being an identity theft victim so as to protect yourself from further losses.