Identity theft is something that looms over all of us these days. The crime deals with someone taking your personal information, and impersonating you mainly to make purchases that are charged to you. Unfortunately, our involvement online plays a huge part in our identity being stolen. There are things we do that we may not think about but should especially when it comes to sharing certain information. Yes, there are secure websites, but that is only one way to protect ourselves. Here are some further tips to keep your identity safe while surfing the web.
We all know that it is advisable to avoid spam which is an email we aren't expecting that is advertising something or looks suspicious in nature. But how many of us have received what appears to be an email from a financial platform we are affiliated with. For example, our bank and the online payment system PayPal? Yes, these can be legitimate but guess what there are those that aren't. The individuals who put these out take great pains to make the email look authentic, and then want you to click on a link below to sign in to your account Now suddenly your information is in their hands. So, what do you do in these situations? Well the first thing to do is never click on the link, no doubt you have your account bookmarked go to the website and see if there is an issue with the account. Odds are there won't be, and you just avoided a form of identity theft.
Use Protection Software
Besides making the periodic security updates to your laptop there is also protection software that can be used to help avoid identity theft. One such software that is starting to catch on especially in businesses is identity and access management. This software does not only provide extra protection but provide ways in which to keep track of your activity and identity protection as well. Another thing to make sure you do is keep your virus software updated to protect against malware.
Be Creative with Passwords
This is especially important when it comes to the password to your bank account, payment services, or even utility bill companies. You want to use passwords that are unique and aren't necessarily connected to you. For example, never use your birthday, your initials or even your mother's maiden name. This is information someone could easily get regarding you. So, what could you use, well how about the name of your favorite pet along with the year you got them or maybe a favorite movie or TV program? Another thing to keep in mind with these websites is that it isn't advisable to have these stored in your system to easily access. What if your laptop or smartphone got stolen suddenly someone has that information.
Be Careful Who You Deal with Online
Popular buying websites such as Amazon and eBay allow various sellers to do business on them. So, when we go there to buy something to find out what you can about the seller. Do they have a good reputation for dealing with customers in the past? Believe it or not, identity theft has happened here as well. So, always be careful to know that the seller has a stellar reputation before buying anything from them. They could be trying to get your financial information along with making a sale.
Getting a new laptop can be an exciting moment. But what do you do with the previous one, some of us will instantly throw it away. But before doing that make sure to back all pertinent stuff to flash drives, and then wipe the memory clean of all data.
These are some tips to help you avoid identity theft online. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can protect us at 100% so always be diligent and keep track of your financial records. Best advice think about what you are doing online and be careful out there.