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Is Your Cyber Identity at Risk?

July 13, 2022
Travis Bennett

Technology has rapidly connected the world, but it also presents a certain danger.  

For every digital service you sign up for, your personal details get stored online and filed away. Whether that’s to buy stock photos or business cards, create a profile for your business, or even order food. Now, in most cases that’s totally fine. These sites and apps have strict security protocols, and personal data protection in place.  

But things do go wrong.  

According to The State of Security 2022, 78% of security and IT leaders say remote workers are hard to secure. And 65% of organizations have seen an increase in cyberattacks since the pandemic. For the Independent Doers, who typically run their entire business online - this is an alarming trend (that shows no signs of slowing down).  

What happens to your stolen data?  

Cyber identity theft is when someone uses your personal data to do something illegal. Considering how much information we willingly share online, many of us are at risk. And with a few additional pieces of stolen information these bad actors can wreak havoc in your life. Opening new accounts, signing up for subscriptions and purchases, and even on-selling your details on the dark web.  

The dark web is the part of the internet that you can’t reach through a Google search. Where browsing happens anonymously, and there are huge black markets. With people trading and on-selling your financial and personal data for illicit gains.    

Once an identity thief has your details, they might attempt to:

  • Open a line of credit or apply for credit cards in your name
  • Rack up charges and expensive purchases on your credit cards
  • File fraudulent tax returns to claim your refund for themselves
  • Apply for government grants and benefits that you qualify for
  • Redeem your frequent flyer miles and credit card points
  • Use your health insurance access to gain access to medical care
  • Pass a background check using your identity and credit score
Just to mention a few.

Surely, it can’t happen to me?

You know, I thought the same. But you might be surprised to learn how many service providers have had their databases hacked. Their customers' private information scraped and is now available online.  

Customers who bought a Ledger device to secure their crypto assets had their home addresses leaked on the dark web. T-Mobile was hacked and the social security numbers, dates of birth, and driver’s license numbers of 48 million people was revealed. While an incident at department store chain Neiman Marcus exposed the credit card details of 4.6 million customers.

And it’s not only smaller players. A 2019 breach at Facebook revealed personal information of 530 million users, while LinkedIn was hacked and 6.5 million user passwords were stolen. Here in Singapore, the RedDoorz leak in 2020 gave hackers access to 5.9 million passwords and user accounts, in what the government here is calling the largest data breach.  

And these are only the tip of the iceberg.  

What if I’ve not had my data breached (yet)?

Of course, the most common way an attacker will get your personal information is part of a larger database hack. As millions and millions of records get released and sold on the dark web, chances are it'll happen to you.  

But there are other potential threats for Independent Doers to be aware of.  

Phishing attacks are fraudulent calls, emails or text messages that appear legitimate until you look closer. They might impersonate your bank, or another legitimate business. To get you to visit a website that’s an identical copy – only the URL is slightly different. If you attempt to login, their software captures your password and gives them access to your accounts.

Wi-Fi hacking is a man-in-the-middle attack, where a bad actor creates a fake Wi-Fi hotspot that you connect to. Once you’re online and using the internet, they’re able to spy on any information passing through the fake network they’ve created. And potentially even inject malware on your computer if there are vulnerabilities in your software.

Malware attacks use a special type of software. Designed to spy and capture information, disrupt your computer or device, or allow a hacker to gain access to your system. Some phishing attacks are an attempt to install malware on a target device. Which can be as simple as clicking a dangerous attachment or following a suspicious link and downloading the software.

How will I know if my data is compromised?

A foolproof way to discover you’ve been a victim of cyber theft is that things will start to go wrong. Perhaps you’re turned down for a credit card or a loan because of a problem with your credit score. You’ve got banks or debtors calling you about credit card charges that you’ve not made. Or maybe your bills have even stopped coming to your home address, because the hacker has already redirected your mail as part of their attack.  

Rectifying identity theft once it has happened is a nightmare, but there is good news.  

There are ways to reduce your risk and keep a lookout for any of your personal data as it hits the dark web. So, you can proactively stay ahead of these cyber identity thieves. Here at Doerscircle, through AON, we’ve partnered with Cyberior to offer our members a comprehensive protection plan. It's run by Europ Assistance, a global leader in the cyber security space.    

Our Cyber Fraud and ID Theft Protection solution

For members in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand, we’re able to give you peace of mind. That your cyber identity is being protected, and proactively monitored.  

Secure your emails and passwords for any suspected breaches. Immediate alerts if (and when) any potential threats are discovered. As well as ongoing searches of the dark web for any instances of your personal information being bought and sold. You’ll also get access to premium digital security software, to protect your devices against malicious attacks. Plus, direct access to Cyberior’s team of Crisis Resolution Specialists to help resolve any incidents as they arise.  

And it’s incredibly affordable. For just $110 SGD per year, it’s the kind of protection that lets you sleep a little better at night. A no-brainer for all the Independent Doers who are running their businesses online.    

Follow this link to learn more, and sign up yourself (before it’s too late).

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