Identity Theft Is Everywhere! Stay Safe in The Netherlands with this Foolproof Method

Last Updated by Gray Williams on May 01, 2019

Identity theft is rampant in The Netherlands. In 2017 alone, the number of reported cases of identity fraud doubled to 1,724. A large chunk of this has been from online fraud, including a famous 2012 case where a man had his identify stolen by a computer repairman who went on to ring up traffic tickets and briefly had his driver’s license revoked when the thief was caught driving drunk.

The Dutch National Anti-Fraud Hotline reports that online identity theft if the fourth-leading type of fraud in the country. In the first six months of 2018, some €1.5 million of money were stolen from victims accounts.

How do criminals commit identity theft and how can you stop it? This article will explore these issues as well as offering several tips and tricks on how Netherlands’ citizens can stay safe online.

How Does Online Identity Theft Happen?

One of the most dangerous things about online identity theft is how many ways it can happen. Most people think identities are only stolen when you answer a spam email or visit a bogus website, but there are far more ways than that .

Here are a few:

  • Phishing:
    Phishing involves sending you emails from what you believe to be a trusted company in hopes of having you download a bogus attachment or respond to a link that takes you a place in hopes of stealing your password, online ID, or personal information.
  • Malware:
    Malicious software is rampant these days and download itself onto your computer and begin parsing your data for useful information.
  • Unsecure websites:
    These websites can emulate a trusted website and try to get you to buy products and enter your credit card information.
  • Weak passwords:
    The bane of IT professionals existence are those employees who use “Password1” as their password. When you don’t take your passwords seriously, cyber-criminals can use algorithms to overpower them and access your accounts. The worst part is that they usually won’t change your password or shut your account once they’re inside the walls; instead they’ll make themselves at home and continue gobbling up your data as you add to it.
  • Pharming:
    Amazingly, your entire browser can be hijacked by a virus without you even realizing it. When you put real web addresses into the address bar, you go to a fake site instead and your password information for that site is stolen.

Ways to Keep Your Identity Safe Online

Keep Your Identity Safe Online Keeping your identity safe has both complex and simple solutions, much like keeping your home safe from thieves. It’s all well and good to have the latest digital security system installed, but if you leave the front door open, you’re still going to get ripped off. There are several things you must do every time you go online to stay safe.

Here are a few tips and tricks for staying safe online:

1 Don’t click random links:

It’s that simple. If you weren’t expecting an email, don’t click on it, especially if appears to be an offer that is “too good to be true.” If it’s from a business or bank you know. Type the website of that bank into your browser and see if the offer exists there.

2 Mix up your passwords:

What’s worse than having one password stolen? Having one password stolen that you use on eight different websites so that suddenly all of your financial information is exposed.

3 Don’t accept social media invitations from people you don’t know:

Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn, don’t say yes to invites unless you absolutely know the person behind them. Very often these are people trying to get into your page with some sort of spyware to infect your system and steal your credentials.

4 Use a virtual private network (VPN):

Virtual Private Network (VPN) A VPN can keep everything you do online safe by making it impossible for any third party to spy on your online movements. It does this by creating an encrypted tunnel between you computer and a third-party remote server in another location.

All requests and uploads you make are sent through the tunnel to the remote server, where they are decrypted, then sent on to the website of your choice. Anyone trying to hack your computer might be able to tell you are online, but they won’t be able so see what websites you are visiting or what you are uploading or downloading.

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Gray Williams
Gray Williams is an experienced data and communications engineer and cross-platform copy and content writer and editor with a keen interest in cybersecurity. He has been working with and researching, VPNs and other online privacy tools for many years.