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Home / Tips and Tricks / To generate online virtual IDs to prevent spam, fraud, and phishing attacks

To generate online virtual IDs to prevent spam, fraud, and phishing attacks



There are so many cybersecurity cybersecurity vulnerabilities on the Internet today that specifying your email address or phone number when you sign up for a service is similar to giving your full name on the first date. Recently, a number of SIM swap hacks have occurred. Attacks where hackers take control of your account by stealing your phone number, claiming ownership of it through your wireless service provider, and bypassing SMS-based two-factor authentication.

Attacks like these are becoming more common It pays to take extra precautions when you block your personal contact information. Apple will implement a new authentication system for iOS users starting this fall. Until then (or if you are not an iPhone user) there are other methods you can use.

For added security, you can use secure password authentication tools such as Authy or USB security key for your original Gmail account. Prevent unauthorized access. It's also worth setting up additional PIN protection for your phone account through your wireless service provider to prevent impersonators from making changes without your permission. And of course, a good password manager app is a must.

And if you really want to hide your identity, you can use virtual contact information when you sign up for new services. If you do not provide your services with e-mail, telephone, or credit card information, you are at least one step away from potential cyberattacks if these services are violated on the Internet.

Phone Numbers

Many online services and apps provide the ability to associate your phone number with your account so you can continue to access if you lose your password. Instead of entering your actual number, you can generate alternatives from free services like Google Voice and FreedomPop.

With Google Voice, you can do this through an iOS or Android app or over the Internet. Personally, I find it easier to do this on the web so I can copy the numbers quickly and paste them into different services.

To start on the web:

  • Go to voice.google.com and sign in with your Gmail address (if you're not already signed in).
  • Dial a number based on the digits available in the desired area code. Select the desired number.
  • You will then be prompted to associate a text-based confirmation with your actual number. (Note: you can only link one Google Voice number to each "real" phone number.)

This number will now allow you to register / associate all desired apps. If you no longer need or want to change this number (such as a password), you can change the number on the Language Settings page or delete it if necessary.

Email

By using different email addresses for signing up new accounts or accessing coupons, articles, and other downloadable material, you can get spam emails, unsolicited newsletters, and email tracking avoid being used by apps and services to send ads. You also add a layer to get rid of potential phishing emails.

If you really want to avoid information from a Web site, you can use a service such as Temp Mail, Maildrop, or Mailsac to create fake e-mail addresses. These temporary inbox services store emails only for a short period of time (between 10 minutes and one week).

Because of this, you may not want to use them on sites where you are looking for free promotions that you may have received in the past. For these websites, you can create a separate disposable Gmail, Outlook, or other e-mail address, especially for online registrations.

And like phone numbers and passwords, you can sometimes change your ID instead of using it every time.

If you decide to use one of these temporary inbox services, go to the website and you'll see an area where you can generate any email ID. No registration is required. You can create a temporary e-mail address to send to a location where you should not have permanent access to it. Again, the emails you receive through these temporary addresses will only be kept for a short period of time, depending on the service used. They should not be considered as permanent alternative emails.


Note that a generic ID like "testing @" may have already been claimed by another person, so you may be releasing the temporary inbox for someone else. Try to choose a username that is more complex and hard to guess, so nobody can see your purchases and activities. If you use these services to sign up for something you do not want to have permanent access to (for example, a trial version), delete the email when you're done so no one has access to potential identifiers, such as account names or links to confirm password changes.


Credit Cards

Most mobile / e-wallets such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal, Visa Checkout, MasterCard Master Pass, and bank-specific apps offer encrypted payment methods Prevent your credit card information from being shared directly with third parties , However, this does not mean that they are also fail-safe, as mobile purses can be hacked if your phone is not properly secured.

Try this before setting up your mobile wallet over a secure Wi-Fi network (your home is probably your best bet). If you need to do this on the go, use a VPN as a protection layer. Then, after adding your credit card numbers to any mobile wallet, follow the general smartphone protection protocols: Set up a locked home screen that can only be authenticated by your biometric, PIN, or pattern-based lock (or combination thereof) three).


Image: Capital One

In cases where mobile payment apps are not accepted, you can generate a random credit card number that will be used as a one-time payment solution. Currently only three American banks offer this service: Bank of America, Citi and Capital One. Keep in mind that banks may limit the number of virtual credit cards you can generate at any one time, or set a minimum or maximum spend per card number, so this may not be the best solution for every purchase.

Note this You should not use this type of service for items that you may return as these card numbers may expire. You are also not recommended for reservations where you must provide the credit card used to make the purchase (eg car hire, hotels, flights, etc.).

Following These Additional Steps Can Provide Extra Protection However, online hackers should always remember to develop strong password habits in addition to these methods to provide multiple layers of security and ensure the security of your data.

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