How To Keep Your Identity Safe Online
In the technology era, there is a need to protect your identity. Data breaches happen and this can compromise your data exposing you to become a victim of identity theft. Your personal information is important to hackers as they can use it to commit fraud under your name. There will always be data security issues especially since everything is shifting online. However, there are things you can do to protect your identity online as explained below.
1. Use strong passwords
The first line of defense when someone tries to access your information is your password. You need to use strong passwords for all your online accounts. With so many accounts, you might be tempted to use one password for all the accounts. This will be easy for you to remember but will also make it easy for hackers to access your information. The best thing for you to do is create a password that has more than 10 characters including numbers and symbols.
2. Check your privacy settings on social media
Social media is great when you want to interact and catch up with your friends and family. However, putting too much information online can put you at a higher risk of identity theft and even physical danger. To keep you safe, you need to limit how much information you share on social media sites. Also, be careful when accepting friend requests. If your gut instinct tells you not to accept a friend request, then do not do it. You should also check your privacy settings to limit the people who can see your posts and personal information.
3. Be careful when using public Wi-Fi
Everyone loves using free things and that includes public Wi-Fi that is usually free. However, going online through public Wi-Fi has its own risks. There is no authentication required to establish a connection and hackers can use the same connection to access data from unsecured devices. They can also use the connection to spread malware that allows them access to your passwords and even credit card information. With this information, your identity can be used to commit fraud.
If you want to use public Wi-Fi, you can browse anonymously through using VPNs. This will protect your identity from being discovered. Ensure your VPN does not leak your IP information as it will make you vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
4. Avoid opening phishing emails
One of the popular ways to steal information is through phishing. This is where you are tricked into opening an email or clicking a link that grants them access to your information. It is easy and fast which makes it popular. Just like when using social media, you need to exercise caution when opening emails from unknown sources. Legitimate businesses would never tell you to update your information through a link. Also, if your instincts tell you there is something off about an email, do not open it.
5. Use secure sites
When using a site, you can check if it is secure or not through the URL. If the site uses ‘HTTP’, it shows that it is not secure and the information you share can be accessed by others. However, if the site’s URL starts with ‘https’, it means the site is secure and encrypted. You can browse without worrying your information will be intercepted by hackers.
- Upgrade your security software
In an effort to keep your data safe, several companies have come up with anti-virus software that can be used to detect and get rid of the malware. Operating systems like Windows have security software installed to protect its users. You need to play your part and keep the security software up-to-date at all times. This will ensure you have the latest internet security protection preventing others from having unauthorized access to your device.
- Check your bank statements
You need to keep track of your bank statements. Cybercriminals usually start by debiting little amounts at a time that go unchecked. After successfully doing that a few times, they go big and before you know it, your accounts are clear and in the red. You can sign up to get notifications every time a transaction takes place. This will help you detect any activity in your account before it gets out of hand.