The internet opens up new opportunities for everyone. Young and old alike benefit from the wide range of information available.
Unfortunately, sometimes those people that “benefit” from the information available are people trying to steal your identity. There are endless things a hacker can do with the private information that can they can find online.
The scary thing about the online world is small interactions can give up too much personal information. This can allow people to take over your life.
Read on to learn a few tips on how to protect your identity online.
Social media is fantastic for keeping in touch with old friends and family members. It is also a great place to meet new contacts and network for business.
Ever-popular games and quizzes that need access to your account are a big warning. Often these sites tell you they only have access to a small amount of information. They trust you’ll allow this in exchange for game lives or quiz results.
Another thing to consider is who you accept as a friend or connection on social media. When learning how to protect your identity online, the last thing you want is a stranger seeing posts from 6 years ago.
These posts may include your kids’ names, birthdays, or anniversaries. Oftentimes, this is the type of information used for passwords.
When doing business with retailers or anyone that requires sensitive data, consider asking if they have an Identity and Access Management (IAM) . This type of programming limits the number of employees who have access to your private information.
Speaking of Passwords
How many online accounts do you have? Can you answer off the top of your head? Probably not, because the average person has 25 accounts that require a username and password!
Worse yet, most people have 6 or 7 passwords between the 25 accounts which means they’re being reused. This makes it extremely easy to obtain personal information
It also means that if someone gets one of your passwords, they could have access to your social media (bad,) sites you shop on (worse,) and bank information (worst.)
A fairly easy fix to this is to use a password manager. They can seem complicated, but you just need one password to access all your accounts. Your accounts are protected by a super password that is close to impossible to hack.
The problem is in the name: public. To someone untrained, it’s not a big deal. You can’t see other people’s information so they can’t see yours, right?
This isn’t the case as hackers or people who are trained can actually see and capture the bits of information seen on a public connection.
As much of a pain as it can be, either opt out of using public wi-fi, or carry a device that allows for a personal connection.
How to Protect Your Identity Online
This comes down to common sense. Do as much as you can to protect yourself with up-to-date virus protection and updates to your browser.
Create strong passwords, delete old posts that give too much information, and if you HAVE to use public wi-fi, do so only for browsing. Don’t log into any site that requires a password on a public connection.
The last item worth mentioning is to keep up with the news and what cybersecurity breaches happen, to what companies. It also may help to pay attention to any news regarding issues with your own technology and the patches for it.