Generating virtual online IDs to prevent spam and phishing attacks

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ONLINE IDs: There are tons of cybersecurity vulnerabilities that exist on the internet these days and it’s actually giving out your email address or phone number when you are signing up for a service is related to giving someone your full name on the first date of acquaintance.

Just recently, a string of SIM swapping hacks have occurred; attacks in which hackers actually take control of your account by snooping on your phone number, claiming bonafide ownership.

As attacks like these become prevalent, it’s okay to take extra precautions when locking down your vital personal contact information.

Noted that Apple will start to implement a new authentication system for iOS users when it actually launches Sign in with Apple later this fall. But until then (or if you’re not an iPhone user), there are other methods you can actually use.

To also increase your security, you can use secure password authentication tools like Authy or USB security keys on your original Gmail account to stop some unauthorized access.

It’s also good and worth setting up additional PIN protection on your phone number account through your mobile provider to stop impersonators from making changes without your own consent. And, of course, a strong password manager app is a must to have.

SOME COMMON TIPS TO GENERATE VIRTUAL IDENTIFICATIONS FOR VARIOUS USES AROUND THE WEB.

PHONE NUMBERS

Tons of online services and apps the option to connect your phone number to your account so that you can also get in if your password gets missing. Aside from putting in your actual number, you can also generate alternatives from free services like Google Voice and FreedomPop.

Google Voice allows you to try this using an iOS or Android app, or on the web. Personally, I find it so simple to do it on the web so I can actually copy and paste the numbers to various services immediately.

READ ALSO: Just In: WhatsApp desktop app now has video and voice calls

This is how you get started on the web:

Go to voice.google.com and sign in with your Gmail address (This is if you’re not signed in already).

Select a number based on the numbers available in the area code you want. Select the number you want.

You’ll also be asked to connect or link it to your real number by a text-based confirmation. (Note: You can only link one Google Voice number to each “real” phone number.)

And now you can also use this number to register/link to any apps you want. When you have decided that you no longer want this number or want to leave it up (like you would a password, for example) you can go to the Voice’s Settings page and change the number or delete it as it is needed.

 

Making use of different email addresses to sign up for your new accounts or access to coupons, articles, and other downloadable material is also a way to avoid spam emails, unwanted newsletters, and email tracking used by Applications and services to send you ads.

Just because of that, although it may not want to use them for any site where you do want to check up on your free promotions you might have gotten in the past. For these sites, you can actually create a separate pick and throw Gmail, Outlook, or other email addresses for your online registrations.

With your phone numbers and passwords, switch your ID deliberately instead of using the same one time after time.

 

In case you’ve made up your mind to use one of these temp inbox services, go to the site and you will see a space where you can get any email ID you want. None of these registrations are required, so you can create a temporary email address to put into any site where you don’t really want them to take permanent access to you. Again, this actually depends on the service you want to use, the emails you receive through those unstable addresses are only kept for a short period of time, so they should not be considered as permanent alternate emails.

CREDIT CARDS

Most mobile / e-wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal, Visa Checkout, Mastercard Masterpass, and bank-specific apps offer different encrypted methods of payments to avoid directly giving your credit card details to a third party. Still, this does not mean that they are not proven either, as mobile wallets can be hacked if your phone is not properly secured.

 

In some instances where mobile payment apps are not taken again, you can also generate a random credit card number to use as a one-time payment remedy. Currently, just three American banks can offer this service: Bank of America, Citi, and Capital One. Note that banks might limit the number of virtual credit cards you can generate at any period of time, or set a spending minimum or maximum per card number, so it may not be the best solution for every purchase.

 

Have it at the back of your mind that you should never use these kinds of services for items you could actually return, as these card numbers could expire.

Taking these steps can offer other protection against online hackers, often, remember to build strong passwords at top of these methods to give multiple layers of security and not consuming your data

 

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