How to Prevent Identity Theft: A Guide for Remote Workers

Identity theft and the associated acts of fraud that follow on from it is a major concern for businesses and consumers alike, swallowing billions from innocent victims and creating disruption across the globe.

It is especially concerning for individuals who now work remotely, whether operating from their own homes or while on the move. The end of the traditional office experience has lots of benefits, of course, but identity theft is a risk to be aware of in this context.

If you find yourself working remotely and you want to protect yourself from the advances of cybercriminals, here are a few strategies to consider and solutions to embrace.

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Consider using specific protection tools

The rise of identity theft has brought with it the emergence of software platforms made specifically to keep people safe from exploitation.

There are lots of options of this kind out there, and different features included in the services and packages from rival vendors. For example, this LifeLock review outlines the inclusive capabilities that this particular solution offers, including the ability to monitor all of your accounts for suspicious activity, surveil the dark web to see if your personal details are being sold on the black market, and provide you with reimbursement in the event that your funds are stolen by identity thieves.

The best tools will come with fees to pay on a monthly or annual basis, but if you are fearful for the integrity of your data while working remotely, this could be easy to justify.

Avoid public Wi-Fi where possible

Internet access points which are open to the public are clearly convenient for basic use, but if you are working remotely and you want to use the hot spot offered by a cafe, hotel or other institution, then you could be putting your personal and professional data at greater risk of being stolen.

Aside from public Wi-Fi networks generally being less secure than private or domestic connections, they are also simple for scammers to spoof, meaning that you might think you are connecting to a legitimate hotspot, when in reality it is a malicious one masquerading as genuine.

If you have no choice but to hop on a public access point, then make sure that you are using a VPN, especially if you are connecting to any internal business resources. This might not be ideal in terms of connection performance, but hopefully for short term use it will get you by until you can get back to using a connection that you trust.

Combine strong passwords with two factor authentication

Plenty of people are addicted to using weak passwords, but there really is no excuse, especially in an age when most web browsers will automatically generate strong passwords for you, and save them to be used the next time you need to log into a site or service.

If possible, it also makes sense to double down on sign-in securing and opt for two factor authentication, as and when it is available.

For example, some platforms will allow you to log in not only using a username and password, but also by having a text message sent to your mobile phone so that you can confirm that you are the legitimate account holder.

When using your smartphone, you can also rely on biometrics like fingerprint or face scanning to log in and add another layer of protection, preventing unwanted access from would-be identity thieves.

Lastly, if you stay up to date with the latest cybercrime stories and are aware of the tricks and tactics used by crooks, you will be better equipped to avoid them.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.