No matter how much or how little time you spend online you are still going to have a digital footprint. Even if you are the last person in the world without a Facebook or an Instagram account, yes you can still be found online. The more time you spend on the internet the greater your exposure to identity theft. Identify theft doesn’t just happen because you bought something once at Amazon and paid with your credit card. If you use your credit or debit card at your local corner store that too can result on your information ending up on the web. Protecting yourself online isn’t as complicated as you might think, let us help you protect your identity and secure your computer systems, it can drastically reduce your odds of becoming a victim to identity theft.
Protecting Yourself Online
- Each online account needs a different password, don’t use the same password for you online banking as you do your email or Facebook accounts
- Make your password complicated, use letters, capital letters, symbols and numbers
- Get a password manager to keep track of everything
- Screen your social media accounts, be careful of what you post
- Update your apps and software, updates patch security vulnerabilities in your apps and software so keep everything up to date
- Get some security software on all your devices
Increase Your Security
Websites that you use regularly like your bank or other financial institution have security services like “two factor authorization”, once you input your information the site with send a text to your phone with a code that you will also need to input in order to login. Eventually we will move to a system of fingerprints or retinal scans will be used as a login, smart phones like the iPhoneX already have facial recognition software available for users.
One of the most common ways that your computer systems become infected is through your email. You need to be very careful about clicking on links that come in an email. If you get an email from your bank, for example, instead of clicking on the link in the email go directly to your bank’s website. If you get an email from the bank, PayPal, the IRS or anyplace saying that your account is in jeopardy if you don’t verify your information, contact the institution. These are called phishing scams and that is one way hackers get your personal information.
Shopping online is generally quite safe, millions of transactions are processed everyday. Your credit card and personal information is encrypted and often the merchant doesn’t store your information. You should use a credit card when shopping rather than a debit card banks have fraud protection as part of your credit card agreement.
Identity theft is serious and it can take years to recover your credit rating, take the appropriate measure to protect yourself by protecting your devices.