Online data theft: 2018 worst year ever. How to defend yourself

2018 was a horrible year for cybersecurity, there were so many, in fact, cases of data theft from social media, here's how to defend yourself

Data loss on Facebook, Google +, Microsoft accounts and even Netflix. 2018 was by far one of the blackest years in terms of cybersecurity, especially if we talk about the numerous hacker attacks generated with the sole purpose of stealing our most confidential information.

Hackers are not always interested in our money or making money by infecting our devices with malware and viruses. Often, cyber criminals go looking for our information to create fake profiles, stealing our online identity, so they can exploit them for their illegal actions on the Net. And it does not end there, because in most cases it is likely that our information is also put up for sale on the dark web, where anyone can buy it for a few euros. Fortunately there are some actions to take to limit the loss of data online, here's what to do to defend against hackers. 

What to do if you have suffered an online identity theft

First of all, you should know that your data has a value, not only for the hackers who stole your identity and could resell it, but also for you and for the company that should manage your information online. If you feel that you have suffered financial loss as a result of the cyber theft, you should contact the company's support service and request a cash refund.

In case of theft of your credit card information the first thing to do is to contact our bank to freeze our account and notify support of the theft. In this way, the bank will be able to cancel transactions that have already been made by the hacker in our name, so we won't lose too much money.

The matter becomes more complicated in case of duplication of personal documents such as ID card, passport or tickets for flights and concerts. Unlike a credit card, a passport cannot be locked, but it is likely that theft will force us to replace the document. This is why we always avoid posting photos or information about airline tickets and passports on social media. It may seem like a trivial advice and yet raise your hand who of us after booking a nice vacation or during waits at the airport has not posted on Facebook  or Instagram a picture with these two details on display.

Finally, remember not to give in to blackmail by cyber criminals. If hackers do not want to sell our data but want to take advantage of identity theft, it is possible that they will blackmail us for money in exchange for returning the information. Obviously, we must never accept, also because if a malicious person sees that we are willing to pay, they will not return our data immediately but will continue to blackmail us until they fleece us completely. For this reason we must not play their game, but we must immediately contact the Postal Police to report the identity theft and get a hand from the police.