(This post was brought to you in collaboration with Identity Watch. Keep reading for a fantastic giveaway at the end, and also about how I was kind of, maybe, possibly wrong. Once.)
My husband Rohan will readily admit that he would be quite happy living in the 80’s, before technology took over. When I met him in 2009, he was still going in to the post office to pay bills! I kid you not. To this day he still doesn’t have Internet banking, or even telephone banking. Considering his wife is a prolific over sharer, blogger and social media addict, it does appear that opposites attract!
Recently I upgraded my iPhone, and gave Rohan my old one. When I went to restore his phone, I discovered he had no back up, and had never signed in to iCloud (Apple online storage system) His reasoning was that he worries about his details being out there in ‘cyber space,’ in case someone tries to steal his identity…. Being the caring supportive wife I am, I may have laughed at him. And threatened to make him a tinfoil hat…
Now, it kills me to admit this, but he may have been right to worry about identity theft. Here I was thinking that’s only something that happens in the movies, however it turns out identity theft actually a bigger problem in Australia than I imagined.
What exactly is identity theft? According to the Veda Identity Watch website; “It’s a type of fraud which involves stealing money or gaining other benefits (maybe a mortgage, a passport or a new phone account) by pretending to be someone else. Identity theft happens in a new way every day — from somebody using your credit card details illegally … to having your entire identity assumed by another person in order to open bank accounts, take out loans and conducting illegal business under your name.”
More than one in five people in Australia have experienced some form of identity crime, and Australians lose approximately 1.6 billion dollars due to personal fraud every year. OK, so maybe I’m not laughing at hubby anymore, those are some seriously scary statistics.
A new product has been launched just this month, to help safeguard people against identity theft. “Identity Watch” is service that monitors online forums where your personal information may be illegally traded. If something comes up, they immediately contact you, and offer advice on what you need to do next. Identity Watch is offered on a monthly subscription plan, security and peace of mind for only a few dollars a week. You can find out more information on the website, www.identitywatch.com.au, and also learn how your identity can be stolen in this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tv50H-aBC9Q You can follow Identity Watch on Facebook here, to keep up to date with news and information about online security and identity theft.
The website also has lots of handy tips and articles about Internet safety in general; online shopping, kids and social media, computer viruses , etc.
Veda’s top 5 tips to protect your identity:
- Think before you click – Always use secure sites when transferring money and never open any attachments from unreliable sources. Keep your antivirus and operating system up to date.
- Make passwords hard-to-guess – Get into the habit of changing your passwords regularly and make them difficult to guess. Use a different one for all major websites.
- Don’t overshare on social media – Social media is the new criminal hotspot where hackers can easily access your information. So don’t overshare by telling them your birthday or when you’re going on holidays.
- Safeguard your treasured info – Be careful where you provide card details, drivers license, passport and email address information. Don’t share when online at unsecured Internet hot spots and public Wi-Fi locations.
- Be alert to suspicious activity – Sign up for Identity Watch, Australia’s only standalone cyber-monitoring service. Also regularly check your credit report and immediately tell your credit providers of any suspicious activity.
I admit, I am feeling pretty bad about the snickering and the offer of a tinfoil hat… Looks like my technophobe husband had a very good point. Identity theft is a genuine issue in Australia. Thankfully a service like Identity Watch can protect our information being used illegally, so maybe now I can persuade him to at least consider backing up his mobile phone…!
Identity Theft is offering a one year Gold subscription to a lucky Almost Jane reader. Simply leave a comment telling me whose identity you would like to ‘borrow’ for a day. The most creative/entertaining answer wins!
Competition closes at midnight on the 26th of April. Good Luck!
Almost Jane Terms and Conditions: Veda Identity Watch Giveaway
1. The promoter is Almost Jane and the competition is managed by Almost Jane.
2. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
3. Almost Jane is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.
4. No cash alternative to the prizes will be offered. The prizes are not transferable.
5. The winner will be allocated a promotional code to register for the Identity Watch service. Go to www.identitywatch.com.au to claim the 12-month Gold subscription.
6. The Identity Watch 12-month Gold subscription will expire after 12-months (following the initial set up date). If the winner wishes to extend the Identity Watch subscription, they will need to contact Veda.
7. If the winner cannot be contacted or does not claim the prize within 7 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and a replacement winner will be picked by Almost Jane.
8. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
9. This giveaway is a game of skill and chance plays no part in determining the winner.