The Internet is a wonderful thing, but it can also be a scary place. Predators are lurking, waiting to steal your personal information, and your money. There are millions of online going on right now as you read this, not to mention the amount of scams that are being pulled because people are accessing the personal information of others. So, if you are online a lot, and if you tend to do any banking, bill payments, or ordering merchandise while online, it is time to start learning how to protect yourself better. Here are some tips that will help to protect your privacy online.
Be Smart about Passwords
It is a good idea to get into the habit of having a different password for each online account you have. If you have the same one for all accounts, all a hacker has to do is use that one password to get into all of your accounts and steal your personal information. Make sure that all passwords are difficult, and that they contain symbols, numbers, etc.
Minimize Your Own Internet Exposure
Unless you are certain that you are in complete control of an interaction online, never authenticate yourself to the other party. Do not over-share posts on social media, and don’t give out too much information on social media. Safeguard all of your passwords, and change them regularly. Protect any documents that can be used to steal your identity.
Monitor Your Banking Accounts
It is imperative that you check your credit report often. This is one of the best ways to know if someone has stolen your identity. Also, you should be reviewing banking and credit card accounts every day. You can also use a credit and identity monitoring program, which will let you sign up for free alerts about all transactions from any financial institution or credit card company.
There are going to be some services that are not available in your country. In order to use these services, you need to use VPN (Virtual Private Network). This extends across a public network, and lets users send and receive data across public and shared networks. Functionality and security are improved for users, so you can feel safer when you are online and making any financial transactions.
Manage any Damage to Your Credit
If there are any discrepancies on any of your credit cards or other financial accounts, make sure that you manage the damage immediately. Often, professionals will help you for free through programs that will help you to resolve any problems with identity theft. These services are usually offered through financial service institutions, HR departments, and insurance companies.
Have Multiple Email Addresses
It is a good rule of thumb to keep at least three primary emails. One should be for your social media interaction, another for managing customer service as well as newsletter signups, and one for personal use. This will not only help to prevent identity theft, it will also cut down on the amount of spam you receive every day in your personal email, because only certain people will have this email address.
Beware of Phishing
If you receive a text or email from a stranger that has a link, do not click on the link. It is likely a phishing link, and someone will end up getting access to your personal information. If you are unsure, check with the person whose name is on the email to see if they actually sent it. If they did, then it is usually safe to click on. Never trust a link without checking first.