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How to protect yourself from identity theft

(Updated: 20 October 2023)

When we think of identity theft, we are left with images of failed credit card transactions, sudden and crushing debt, bills for items you can’t recall ever purchasing, and debt collectors banging on your door. Needless to say, the thought is not a pleasant one.

Identity theft has always been a threat to individuals and businesses alike, and with the push to digitise your company or your life, identity theft has become easier for scammers.

Protecting your personal data and identity is becoming more important than ever before! Fortunately, with the advances in technology, particularly in the field of biometrics and facial recognition, you or your business can take proactive steps to secure your identity effectively.

How? Let us look into how you can protect your identity:

Understanding Biometrics and Facial Recognition

Biometrics refers to the measurement and statistical analysis of someone’s unique physical and behavioural characteristics. Think “Mission Impossible” with handprint or fingerprint scanners, it may be one of the oldest forms of biometrics, but it is still considered to be highly reliable and accurate when it comes to authenticating someone’s identity.

Facial recognition is a subset of biometrics, it identifies and verifies someone’s identity through their facial features. Facial recognition software has been used for day-to-day actions such as unlocking your phone, but more advanced versions can scan a picture of your face and cross-reference it to an online database to confirm your identity.

These types of technologies provide a secure and convenient way to authenticate an individual’s identity, thus making it difficult for identity thieves to impersonate someone. It also adds an extra layer of security to protect your identity, rather than solely relying on passwords or security questions as these can be cancelled or changed if it is lost, misplaced, or stolen. On the other hand, biometric identification and facial recognition can’t be lost, misplaced, or loaned to a friend.

Protecting Yourself with Biometrics

With traditional passwords constantly under attack by hackers and bots, an added layer of security is needed to secure your data. Let us explore the different types of biometric systems you can put in place to protect and authenticate your identity:

  • Fingerprint Scanning: A common safeguard to your data is the fingerprint scanner. Commonly used on smartphones, laptops, and businesses to restrict access to certain spaces or online data. You can utilize this feature to lock and unlock your devices, ensuring only you can have access to them.
  • Voice Recognition: Voice biometrics analyse your unique vocal patterns. Enable voice recognition for sensitive accounts, adding an extra layer of security when verifying your identity over the phone.
  • Iris and Retina Scanning: Typically used in high-security environments, for access control. While this technology might not be readily available for personal use, it highlights the potential of biometrics in safeguarding information.

Enhancing Security with Facial Recognition

There are many benefits and uses of facial recognition software for both individuals and businesses around the world. Let us take a look at a few key features that facial recognition software solutions can help you with:

  • Secure Authentication: Facial recognition technology can be integrated into various applications, including banking and social media platforms. By enabling facial recognition, you ensure that only you can log into your accounts, even if your password falls into the wrong hands.
  • Smart Door Locks: Upgrade your home security by installing smart door locks with facial recognition capabilities. These locks grant access only to recognized faces, preventing unauthorized entry.
  • Monitoring Suspicious Activities: Businesses and public places use facial recognition for security purposes. Likewise, installing home security cameras with facial recognition capabilities can help you monitor your property and detect any unusual activities.

General Tips for Protecting Your Identity

  • Monitor Your Financial Statements: Regularly review your bank and credit card statements for any unauthorized transactions. Report any suspicious activity to your financial institution immediately.
  • Regularly Update Passwords: Even with biometric security measures, it’s crucial to have strong, unique passwords for your accounts. Change them periodically and avoid using the same password across multiple platforms. If you are concerned about managing your passwords, you can use a trusted password manager program or app to store your passwords securely online.
  • Be Cautious with Personal Information: Be mindful of the information you share online. Avoid over-sharing on social media platforms, as identity thieves can use this information to impersonate you.
  • Use Secure Wi-Fi Connections: When accessing sensitive information online, use secure, password-protected Wi-Fi networks. Avoid conducting financial transactions on public Wi-Fi networks, which are more susceptible to hacking.
  • Limit Your Exposure: Do not carry around multiple credit cards or have sensitive documentation lying around in plain sight, as this makes you a target by would-be thieves.
  • Remain Vigilant of Emails: Never click on links in emails that appear suspicious in nature. This applies to any email, whether personal or business, as it may be a phishing attempt to capture your personal information.
  • Stay Up-to-Date with Fraud Trends: Being aware and knowledgeable of current fraud and identity theft trends gives you the upper hand when securing and protecting your personal information. You cannot take the security of your data for granted.

Biometrics and Facial Recognition for Businesses

Identity-based security measures should be as equally important as physical security for organisations that want to protect their business and financial data from unauthorised access.

Biometrics and facial recognition systems provide strong security benefits for businesses around the world. When implemented successfully, it can provide strict access control, data security, data monitoring and can safeguard against the threat of hacking.


Hackers will try to steal identities and the valuable data that is associated with them. Biometrics and facial recognition technologies offer powerful tools to protect yourself from identity theft. By integrating these advanced security measures into your daily life and following general identity protection tips, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to identity theft.

If you suspect that someone is not quite who they say they are, you should delve further and verify their identity. At MarisIT, we offer a Biometric ID Photo Lookup and Facial Recognition service that you can use to verify the fingerprints or photo of a person against the Home Affairs database. Secure your data and minimise your risk today.

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