When we think of passports, we typically think of holidays and going abroad. But many people use them as their main form of identification, whether it’s getting into nightclubs, buying age-restricted items at the supermarket or proving their identity when buying a house.
To make your life easier, you might store a picture of your passport on your phone, hidden away amongst your holiday snaps or the latest photo of your food, but did you know this puts your identity at risk?
Exposing yourself to identity theft:
Having your passport in your photos might be handy for when you need to fill in a form and enter your passport details, but saving a photo of your passport page opens you up to accidentally sending someone the photo. If you’re bragging about your all-inclusive trip to Greece, your latest photo dump might not be the only thing you share. Important details can always find a way onto social media. Put it this way, if you lose your phone or it gets stolen, you’ll lose more than just your handset.
Think about all of the personal information your passport has – your full name, date of birth and passport number is the golden ticket for identity thieves. With access to these details, a criminal could open bank accounts in your name, apply for credit, or use your details to commit identity theft. Having access to your passport picture alone can lead to criminals selling off your passport details on the dark web. According to Nord VPN, copies of passports were the most expensive item available, costing around $600. It’s no wonder that having a picture of your passport is a lucrative opportunity for fraudsters.
How to keep your passport safe:
With a Digital ID, such as Yoti or Easy ID, your personal details are securely stored and only you can access them. Advanced biometrics let you into your Digital ID and keep others out, so even if someone else got hold of your phone, they wouldn’t be able to access your personal information. You’ll also have a whole track of who and where you’ve shared your information, giving you full transparency over where your details have been sent.
They’re convenient too. A Digital ID is your ID on your phone, your data in your hands and the safe way to prove who you are. The next time you need to prove your age at the cinema, collect a parcel or prove your right to work when applying for a new job, use a Digital ID and leave your passport safe at home. You can securely share your verified details and just the information you need, instead of revealing your whole passport page.
So the next time you go to snap a photo of your passport page, think twice and choose a safer way to save and share your personal information.