Everyone should find ways to protect their personal information online. This is especially true for expats and others who are living abroad. Here are six tools expats can use to protect themselves against identity theft.
While it’s not as high tech as other common identity theft protection tools, education is an invaluable resource you can use to help protect yourself. Start with the basics by learning about what identity theft is, the ways you can protect your identity and personal information and how to spot scams such as a spoofing attack. Make sure you know how to effectively use various identity protection, monitoring and recovery tools. You should also research what to do in case your identity is stolen.
2. A VPN
It’s incredibly easy for identity thieves to steal your private and personal information when you use unsecured internet connections, such as public wifi networks, even if those public connections require a password or other method of signing on. To counter this risk, you should invest in a good VPN, or virtual private network. A VPN is a tool that encrypts your internet connection from end to end. You can use it on any internet-compatible device.
3. An Identity Recovery Service
You can utilize every identity theft prevention tool available and sometimes, it still isn’t enough. You should prepare for the possibility of your identity being stolen by investing in an identity recovery service. These services connect you with case managers and counselors to guide you along the process of recovering from identity theft, repairing the damage the thief caused and freezing your accounts and credit report.
4. A Password Manager
One way identity thieves steal personal information is by cracking your passwords for various sensitive accounts. To counter this, the general advice given by cybersecurity experts is to use a different password for every account you have and to make those passwords as complicated as possible. However, the vast majority of people don’t feel capable of remembering those passwords easily, which is where password managers come in. Password managers generate unique, random passwords for each of your accounts and store them securely, lowering the chance a hacker will crack any of your passwords.
5. Identity Theft Insurance
Identity theft insurance is a commonly employed tool for those who feel they are at higher risk of identity theft, such as those who live or conduct business abroad. Sometimes, you can bundle this identity theft insurance with others, such as homeowners and automobile insurance. Like other types of insurance, identity theft insurance comes with many different services you can take advantage of to protect your identity and access assistance in case someone does manage to steal your identity. Some commonly offered tools include fraud resolution services, real time alerts, dark web monitoring and coverage of various expenses in the event of identity theft.
6. Monitoring Services
Many people choose to invest in various monitoring services to protect themselves from identity theft, such as identity monitoring and credit monitoring. Identity monitoring is a service where a company scans databases of information that appears online to check for new, unusual or inaccurate information related to you and your identifying data. They do this to detect and alert you of potential cases of identity theft and fraud that wouldn’t appear on a credit report, such as check cashing requests, service orders and changes of address that you didn’t or were unlikely to have made. Credit monitoring is a method of scanning your credit report activity. Your credit monitoring service should alert you if an event such as a change to your credit limit or a new credit card account is detected in your credit report.
When you’re living abroad, you may still have assets and accounts based in your home country, along with newer assets and accounts based in the country in which you’re currently living. Make sure you utilize strong, credible tools to protect yourself against identity theft.
Here are some related articles you may find useful:
- How To Stay Secure When Working Abroad
- Why Expats Should Learn About Data Security
- Top Electronics You Need When Living Abroad