Protect your Online Privacy
Most people feel that by keeping their wallets and credit cards in safe areas that is all you need to protect your identity. But with the internet in full growth, you also need to know how to protect your identity online.
We share a lot of information about different ways to make money online as well as how to find jobs using the internet.
With this in mind, we really wanted to share a post on how to protect your identity online as well as looking into ways to protect your online privacy.
However, we still wanted to dig deeper to find ways for you to protect your identity online.
Before we get started on the steps you must take to protect your identity online, we did want you to follow us on Facebook for more awesome ideas on saving or making more money. You can also follow us on Instagram for more tips.
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What is Identity Theft & How are Identities Stolen?
We are going to start with how to prevent identity theft online.
From online shopping to paying bills and checking your credit score, a lot of financial activity takes place on the internet in this day and age.
Along with these activities often comes the need to share personal information such as home addresses, credit card information, phone numbers, date of birth and more.
Entering this type of information into the cyber universe subjects you to the risk of identity theft.
To better understand the beast we are dealing with, you must understand exactly what identity theft consists is.
Identity theft is the term used for any kind of deception, scam, or crime that results in the loss of personal data without your permission to commit fraud and other crimes.
Online Identity theft Examples:
Identity thieves lure their victims through various types of exploits.
There are still traditional criminals to watch out for, lurking around stealing mail from mailboxes, rummaging through trash for bank statements, stealing wallets and purses, and making copies of credit cards.
However, there are also thieves lurking online to watch for as well.
Online identity theft occurs when individuals fall victim to scams, accidentally download malware, use insecure wireless networks, take out money from an ATM that has been rigged with a skimming device, share passwords with untrustworthy people, or by having information stolen when data records are breached.
You are more likely to become a victim of online identity theft if you use the internet a lot. They are definitely ways to protect your identity online and stay safe.
How to Protect Your Online Privacy
Finding ways to protect your identity online as well as protecting your online privacy is a great step for staying safe in the online realm.
Putting yourself at risk of identity theft online is close to impossible to avoid altogether in this digital age, but there are precautions you can take to ensure you aren’t the next victim.
If you frequently use the internet to handle personal or financial matters, consider implementing these practices to strengthen your personal defense online:
Learn to Spot Scams
One of the most useful tools you can give yourself while interacting online is the ability to spot scams, from spam emails to more complex phishing scams.
By being aware, you can stop yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft online.
Spam emails can be easy to detect as unsolicited emails from a source you don’t recognize, but phishing scams are more disguised.
While some phishing scams are relatively easy to identify, other attempts through email, IM, on social networking sites, or websites can look very legitimate.
One key to never falling for a phishing scam is to never click on any link that has been sent to you.
If you receive an email, for example, that appears to be from your bank and contains the normal logos and knows your name, it might be from your bank – but it also might not be.
Rather than using any links provided in the email, search for the website yourself using a search engine.
This will allow you to be certain that you’re providing information to the legitimate site and not an impostor trying to steal your information.
Protect your identity online by giving as little information as possible on the internet.
Monitor Your Credit
While monitoring your credit won’t prevent thieves from accessing your information, it will notify you of any unusual activity that could be indicative of credit card fraud and help you detect problems before they escalate.
Make a habit of watching your bank and credit card statements routinely for fishy transactions and keep an eye on your credit report as well.
Every individual is entitled, by law, to order a free credit report from each of three credit bureaus each year, so a good practice is ordering a different one every four months.
Be sure to scan it for abnormal activity, such as credit cards you did not open yourself.
You also may be able to access a free credit score through any credit cards or bank accounts.
As a further protective measure, shred all financial documents and keep sensitive personal information, such as social security numbers, private.
Secure Your Web Browser
The more you interact with the digital world online, the larger the trail of footprints you leave in your wake which can sometimes make it harder to protect your identity online.
To minimize the number of breadcrumbs you put out there, take precautions to lock down your internet browser and make it more secure.
First, you’ll want to turn off third-party cookies, which give advertisers the ability to track what sites you visit, what products you buy, and what you search for to push targeted ads.
Once you’ve disallowed cookies, utilize the private browser options while surfing the web to block advertisers from monitoring your internet activity.
Private browsing automatically deletes cookies, temporary files and your browser history upon closing out of the browsing window.
Utilize these settings to anonymously shop and surf the web while also protecting yourself from hackers and thieves.
Use Trustworthy Products
It’s always important to keep in mind that all devices with internet access (computers, tablets, smartphones, etc.) should be treated with uniform safety precautions if you want to protect your identity online.
Both hardware and software on all devices need to be trustworthy and have the necessary safety precautions to protect private information.
If you ever handle personal business or communication on work devices, check to make sure your company has secure unified communication tools in place, such as those from cloud solutions company, 8 x 8.
These products leverage the cloud to keep all of your information in one secure place that has uniform privacy measures across a variety of applications to maximize security.
This way, any personal information that you enter into your devices will be protected by these measures as well.
Create Hard-to-hack Passwords
One of the quickest and easiest things you can do to keep your information secure is to start using strong, hard-to-guess passwords.
First things first: always change the default passwords from manufacturers because they are much simpler to hack.
Instead, create strong passwords consisting of at least twelve characters, a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols, and acronyms or phrases in lieu of full words.
Also, be sure to never use the same password for every website or email account, especially bank accounts, credit card apps and anything else that requires sensitive financial information.
This will help in the case that if one account does become compromised, the others will not necessarily follow suit.
All devices, such as PCs and laptops, need powerful protection-based software to keep their systems and internal information secure.
Having a Network Security Appliance (NSA) or firewall is comparable to having police officers at all entrances of your network who will supervise all data flowing and out of the network.
Installing firewall security brings along many benefits, including traffic monitoring, intruder observation, and hacker blocking.
Don’t stop at firewall software, however, install a Virtual Private Network (VPN) as well.
VPN protects your secure data by hiding your personal IP address, which prevents websites from tracking your physical location through that address.
Even once you’ve implemented some of these tools, remember to be careful about what personal information you provide on the internet and where you share it.
This will reduce your chance of being a victim of online identity theft.
Familiarize yourself with trending scams others have come across to stay one step ahead of hackers and be sure to check for updates regularly.
If you have these physical precautions in place and the knowledge to detect potential threats, you’ll be able to surf the internet safer and with less fear.
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