3 Kinds Of Websites Where You May Be Unwittingly Vulnerable To Identity Theft

identity-theft3

When most people think about the possibility of identity theft, they imagine it occurring when important accounts get hacked or otherwise invaded—places with your credit card and personal information on file, such as Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, etc. But what you may not be aware of are several places on the web where you have personal information—full legal name, address, phone number, and more—readily available for prying eyes to look over. Here are 3 kinds of websites that you should be more cautious of using your personal information on:

Online Petitions

Like most people, your email account has probably been bombarded over the years with online petitions looking to save various parts of the world, impeach certain Congress members, and more. Unfortunately, if you do happen to sign your name to these things, your interest in being an involved citizen may make you more vulnerable to identity thieves. Names, home addresses, and phone numbers are some of the key bits an identity thief needs to begin searching the Internet for a possible way into your life, and online petitions are appealing targets because they have tons of personal info in one convenient place, oftentimes without particularly high security.

You don’t have to immediately trashcan every single petition that makes it into your digital mailbox, but you can be respectfully cautious with your information, and make sure to leave only what is absolutely necessary on the form.

Smaller Stores With A Custom Website

If you purchase anything from a specialty store, or from a more traditional mom-and-pop establishment, you may end up with an online account that doesn’t quite have the security of a large-scale retail chain. Security is getting better—and easier to implement—all the time, but there are still a few websites out there with merchant accounts that keep your credit card info on file that you’d be better off closing. So if you buy a $3,000 custom acoustic guitar from a local maker with a website from the mid 90’s, you might be better off doing all of your business with him in person instead.

Online Job Boards

Millions of people hunt for jobs online; it’s become the dominant form for employment searches, and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. So while most of us will have to do this—probably multiple times—during the course of our careers, you can at least be careful where you stick that resume. Your name, address, phone number, work history, and school information are incredibly important pieces of information, and you don’t want them posted on every job board available, no matter how dubious the quality, out of the fear that you’ll miss some important networking opportunities. Stick with the reputable places, and don’t worry about missing out on any choice employers that only hunt on obscure websites for their staff.

Author bio:

John is a blogger whose family member had his debit card number stolen when he purchased a custom guitar from a local business’s website with a horrible merchant system and account security. He writes for  Protect Your Bubble, a company that can help protect your identity from the more unscrupulous people on the web.

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