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Top 10 Tips for Protecting Online Identity: A Brief Guide for Zambian Expats in Italy

29 Jan 2024


The dazzling technology makes it easy and convenient for you, as a Zambian migrant working in Italy, to send money online to Zambia from Italy to offer financial support back home. But this ease brings with it several challenges and risks.

These challenges and risks come in the form of online scams in which scammers apply different techniques and tricks to fleece you of your hard-earned money that you send back using online remittance transfer channels. One of these online scams you need to know about is identity theft.

Most of your activities have shifted to online platforms, including managing your finances, particularly when you have to transfer funds online regularly from abroad. Right?

Therefore, when you, for example, want to send money online from Italy to Zambia and use a digital platform, you fill in the credentials that identify you. Imagine if these credentials identifying you are stolen! What would happen? Have you ever thought about it?

Well, this blog will shed light on online identity, its importance, and how to protect it.

What is Online Identity?

As mentioned earlier, the concept of online identity is something that you naturally integrate into your daily life. It refers to the persona or identity you wish to establish for yourself online and on the internet.

It is also called Internet Identity, Online Personality, or Internet Persona. You use your online identity in the online and digital realms. You may prefer to use an unreal name to stay anonymous online, but for your money transfer from Italy to Zambia, you cannot afford to stay anonymous by using a fake name for your transaction. Can you?

This is where its importance comes into play.

But before understanding its importance, let’s first clear up the confusion between online identity and digital identity.

Online Identity and Digital Identity – The Difference

Both terms are normally used in the same context, but online identity refers to your persona and how you represent yourself in online communities, social media platforms, and websites.

Digital identity, on the other hand, is a broader term referring to the overall information of an entity that is not necessarily an individual.

Elements of Online Identity

Elements of your online identity include the following:

  • Profiles and usernames
  • Digital footprints
  • Personal information

Elements of Digital Identity

Elements of your digital identity include the following:

  • Social media posts
  • Web browsing history
  • Online shopping
  • Email correspondence
  • Online accounts

Importance of Online Identity

Think of online identity as your ID card, which you do not want to be stolen, as it helps you verify your identity and grants you access to things and platforms you need. Imagine if this ID card is stolen. What would happen?

Well, the first damage is that the scammer can use your identity and do what they all are out there for – fleece you!

Can you afford it, given that you are working in Italy as a Zambian migrant, to earn a living and send money to Zambia online from Italy to offer financial support?

The answer is pretty obvious.

This is why the importance of online identity protection cannot be overemphasized.

Online Identity Risks, Threats, and Challenges

Some of the grave challenges you can face in your online identity breaches are discussed briefly below.

Identity Theft

It occurs when a scammer gains unauthorized access to your personal information to use it for fraudulent purposes. In this fraud type, a scammer will try to gain access to your financial information, including bank account details, card numbers, and so on.

Phishing Scams

A Phishing scam occurs when a cybercriminal tricks you into sharing your sensitive information with them. This information normally includes your bank accounts, credit card details, and other financial data.

Data and Privacy Breaches

This type of online scam occurs when your information is stolen, accessed, or exposed due to lapses in online security parameters. Be extremely careful, therefore, about the security parameters online while transferring funds.

Learn here: all about online financial scams, warning signs, and protection tips.

Tips to Protect Your Online Identity

Your online presence nowadays is more than ever before. While your online presence serves several purposes conveniently, the risks and challenges explained above are the price that you pay for this convenience. But if you wish to stay safe and still enjoy technology, practice the following tips!

Use Strong Passwords

Always password-protect your devices, including your smartphones and computers. But remember to use long, complex, and awkward passwords. Never add anything in a password that shows your identity, such as your lucky number, date of birth, or phone number.

Learn About the Scams

Staying safe online is essential, but this should not cause you to not learn about different types of online financial scams, some of which have been explained above. Not only should you know about the scams, but you should also be aware of the modus operandi of scammers.

Set Up Alerts through the Bank

Ask your bank or any other financial institution to set up alerts in case they note any suspicious activity on your account. These alerts may incur some costs as monthly fees or annual charges. But this meager amount is far better than surrendering all your money to scammers. Right?

Review Credit Report Regularly

Your credit report is one of the strongest tools that you have at your disposal to identify your online protection breaches as and when they happen. Therefore, make it a habit to keep reviewing your credit report regularly.

Make a Conscious Social Media Presence

Make sure to be mindful of what you post on your social media platforms. While sharing a picture or a bit of information may appear harmless to you, if seen from the scammer’s perspective, it can be devastating. So, be extremely careful.

Shred Sensitive Documents

Dumpster diving is common among online scammers. Therefore, never cosign documents containing your information to a trash bin. Make sure to shred them properly. This attains paramount importance when you are outside your residence and in your office.

Install and Keep Antivirus Software Updated

Always remember to install paid antivirus software on your devices and keep updating it regularly. Also, make sure to keep scanning your devices with this software once a week or a month. But do not delay scanning beyond a month.

Keep Your Documents Safe

You might think your documents are safe because no one has access to them. But remember that lowering your guard on this front can leave you vulnerable to scams. Therefore, ensure that your documents are kept in a safe place.

Stay Updated about Online Scams

It is easy for news to spread like jungle fire nowadays. When data breaches occur somewhere in the world, its news will reach you quickly. Make sure to stay updated about these breaches and fraud regardless of where they take place.

Know the Warning Signs

Learn about the warning signs of identity theft. And remember to keep updating yourself about these warning signs because scammers use new methods to fleece you. So, a warning sign today may not be considered one tomorrow. Keep yourself updated, therefore.

Wrapping Up the Discussion

Consider your online safety more when you send money to Zambia from Italy, and choose a service provider with utmost care. ACE Money Transfer, in this context, is the best choice due to its tight security parameters, market-competitive rates, low fees, and speedy transfers, disallowing scammers to penetrate the transactions.

FAQs

What is my online identity?

Your online identity refers to how you wish to establish yourself and your identity in the online world. It is also known as internet identity, online personality, and the internet persona. All of these terms refer to your online identity.

Why is my online identity protection important?

Your online identity protection is important because it keeps you safe from online fraud, helps you expand your reach and influence, increases professional opportunities for you, expands your network and collaboration chances, and so on.

What is the difference between online identity and digital identity?

Although both terms are used for similar meanings, online identity refers to your online persona and identity in the online realm. Digital identity, on the other hand, refers to the virtual identity of an entity that can be a company or brand instead of an individual.

What scams can I face if my online identity protection is breached?

If your online identity protection is breached, you run the risk of facing or even falling victim to identity theft, phishing, social engineering, damage to your online reputation, data and privacy breaches, and so on.

What are the tips to protect my online identity?

Tips to protect your online identity include using strong passwords, identifying scams, getting alerts from the banks, reviewing credit card reports regularly, installing antivirus software, shredding sensitive documents, and following news about data breaches.


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