The Internet has never been more fast or accessible as it is now, and is only expected to grow further in its reach. With this increase in accessibility, the web is getting more and more users every day. With that, it is now becoming hard to protect one’s information and identity online. The threat of identity theft online is tangible and growing in its severity by the day. In such an environment all one can do is take steps to keep their personal information secure.
Keeping your information safe offline is simple enough. Every responsible person has enough common sense to keep their personal belongings secure. Nevertheless, extra care should be taken to ensure the safety of one’s wallet and mobile devices. In case of theft or robbery, one must immediately report the whole incident to the authorities and make sure to block all the credit cards at once.
Keeping your information safe online can be a tricky business. With social media practically blurring the boundaries of privacy, it is extremely hard to keep your personal data safe online. Nevertheless, the task is not impossible, if somewhat difficult.
At times we receive emails, text messages or even direct messages on the social media from impersonators. Most of the time one can tell if someone is impersonating, but with skilled con artists, it is hard to tell. Impersonators will often offer users incentives ranging from discounts to gits to offering winnings from a lottery they never applied for. Other times people also receive phone calls from someone alleging to calling from their banks or an online retailer they visited. They can convince them to reveal their personal details by providing with some of the information they already have. In such cases, it is important to remember that banks or other retailers never ask your PIN number or passwords by contacting you directly.
One should always be careful with what they share on their social media accounts. Oversharing on social media, and that too on a public account can lead to identity theft as well. When you share your personal details on your SM accounts it becomes far to easy for scammers and cybercriminals to target and bully you. It is common sense to know that information like ID card numbers, passwords and PINs should never be posted online, or sent to anyone via DM. moreover, you should also be aware as to not share any information like answers to our security questions on any of our online accounts.
There are many ways to keep your online accounts and identification secure, one of which is two-factor authentication. A lot of businesses and social media website employ this method to verify their users’ identities online. This enables them to see whether the user is actually who s/he says they are. Discover more about identity theft prevention here.
Often if you have sensitive data on your devices it is wise to use data encryption. Also when you frequently communicate sensitive information through emails you should take care to use email encryption plugins. Data encryption may also help you to protect your information in case your device(s) is stolen or lost. Moreover, you should also keep your antivirus definitions up to date as well. They may not be helpful in deterring a skilled hacker but they can slow down or stop an average one.
Scammers often entrap people by setting up free wifi hotspots in public places. Such connections are insecure and enable them to access and store your personal information if you access any personal accounts while using the connection. That information is later used by the person in fraudulent activities including identity theft and credit card fraud.
The importance of keeping strong passwords cannot be stressed enough. As confusing and tiring as the whole process of remembering and maintaining passwords may seem, it is imperative for any online user to use strong passwords that cannot be guessed easily. Many experts suggest using unique phrases that are familiar only to you along with numbers and symbols. Moreover, avoid giving your passwords to anyone, even if they are close to you. Make sure to log out of your accounts if you are using a public computer.
To avoid any sort of malware or malicious content it is preferable to use websites you are familiar with and or have used frequently. One rule of thumb to adopt is to check to see if the URL of the website you are using contains “http” or “https”. Websites with http at the start of their URLs are most probably unsafe and should be avoided altogether. There also appears a small lock sign beside a safe link; be sure to check it before using any new websites.