Most people know the dangers of identity theft. Media houses have a role to play, especially in sensitizing the masses on how to protect themselves from identity theft.
Radio stations and media houses have not been spared by hackers. In 2013, the New York Times and The Washington Post databases were hacked into by Chinese hackers. Since then, media houses have been more careful in how they protect their data. They have also been at the forefront in the fight against identity theft. Even though radio stations help fight identity theft, they are also at risk of being hacked which will expose a lot of their fans to identity theft.
Before they can sensitize their fans, these radio stations need to ensure that their systems are safe from hackers. They can ensure the safety of their systems through:
- Take an inventory of customer data collected
- Limit access to people who can access customer data collected
- Encrypt any data sent from one platform to the next
- Install Firewalls and identity theft and malware protection software
- Educate employees about phishing and ways to protect themselves online
- Regularly change passwords
- Any records and documents to be disposed of should be destroyed or cross shred
- Train employees to identify breaches and monitor accounts for irregular activities.
Sensitize the Masses on the Dangers of Identity Theft
Radio stations have a chance to teach their fans the dangers of identity theft. Some people may not fully grasp what a hacker can do once they have stolen your identity. Identity theft can destroy one’s life besides messing up their finances. Below are some of the ways identity theft can mess your life:
- Hackers can use your credit card details to shop online leaving you in debt
- Hackers can use your SIN number and your ID to borrow loans from online payday lenders
- Your information can be used to commit fraud online – you can be arrested for this
- Hackers can also send inappropriate messages to your friends, family, colleagues, or your neighbors – this can result in these people picking up fights with you and not ever respecting you
After losing your personal information to a hacker, you might end up poor, in jail, and with no friends. The masses need to understand that everyone is prone to identity theft as long as they have internet access and transact online.
Teach the Masses How to Stay Safe From Identity Theft
It is not possible for everyone to never use the internet or never shop online. However, we can all be safe when using different services online. Hackers may not access your information directly but they might access the information through social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. It makes sense if an individual would want to subscribe to an identity theft protection service to keep their personal information safe. Some of the tips radio stations can teach their fans to include:
- Creating strong passwords with numbers, letters, and special characters for all the accounts you access. These passwords should be changed regularly.
- Enter as little information as possible when using apps
- Limit posting personal information such as social security number, phone number, and current address on social media
- Set your privacy to the highest level when using apps and online accounts. Regularly check these settings to ensure they are not affected by upgrades.
- Avoid downloading free applications on your social media profile
- Avoid friendships and connections on social media with people you are not familiar with
- Verify any link sent to you before clicking on it
- Keep track of your accounts such as bank accounts and social media accounts to ensure there are no suspicious activities
- Google your name occasionally to ensure no dubious social media accounts are running under your name
Reporting Identity Theft Cases
Radio stations are mandated with reporting identity theft cases and discussing the conditions under which the cases occurred. This way, consumers can protect themselves better when they know the details of a case. If some of their fans are affected, they need to teach them the first steps in ensuring that their lives are not destroyed.
Individuals affected can, for instance, ask their banks to stop any online bank activities such as shopping. They can also report to the authorities that someone has access to their social security numbers and personal details to protect themselves from prosecution in case of fraud. In conclusion, radio stations can help consumers in choosing the right identity theft protection services. This way, consumers can pick services that will meet their protection needs and their budgets. The stations can further show consumers how to use these services and inform them of any updates.