How to Protect Your Personal Information Online
With the evolution of the internet, people's lives have taken a new turn, and nearly everything is done online. From banking to investing, studying, working, and shopping, these things are now possible on the internet. This has eased things and made it possible to finish tasks from the comfort of your home or office.
However, the majority of people do not know how to protect their personal information online. The most devastating thing about doing your activities online is having your personal information stolen. You may never recover, or it will take years to do so it. There are proven ways to stay safe online. They include:
Use a strong password.
When creating a password for your social media handles or any online account, which creates a unique password that cybercriminals cannot quickly figure out. Simple passwords such as your birthday date or your child are easy to guess. You should be creative and ensure you come up with a password that no one can guess. You can mix both lower and upper-case letters with numbers and symbols. Complex passwords that are too difficult to remember can be kept secure by a password manager tool.
Limit what you share on your social media platforms
Don't overshare your personal information such as your birthday, location, address, phone number, full name, social security number, or any other personal information on social media. Hackers or identity thieves may use this information to gain access to your money or steal your identity. Check your privacy settings often to know who sees your posts, and be sure to limit your posts to only a small group of people who you know.
Secure your Social Security Number
You should keep your social security number safe. You cannot access many services with your social security number ranging from car rental services to doctors' offices. It is an important number and should be your secret if you want to stay safe online. This is done to tie your data with other sources. However, you are not supposed to provide it to anyone apart from authorized persons. When asked for your social security number, request alternative ways to prove your identity if you do not trust the person asking you.
Read Privacy Policies
Most people choose to skip the privacy policies of various sites because they are long and tedious. You should read policies because they provide you with information on how the site maintains security, access, and control of the personal information collected. Also, privacy policies provide the site users with information on how the information is used and whether any third party can access it. Also, you conduct online for any transactions, ensure your bank and credit accounts protect you in case of fraud. Besides, do not allow any website to remember your login details. It may look like an easy way to sign in to your favorite platforms but poses risks to your online activities.
Avoid using Public Wi-Fi.
While public Wi-Fi may sound good, it is possible to have your online accounts hacked. However, if you must use public Wi-Fi, ensure that your personal information is protected. If the website you are using is encrypted, only the information sent and received on that website will be protected. The best way to browse online is through a password-protected network. This means you can safely whip out your credit card and other sensitive activities.
Have Multiple Emails
You should have more than one email account to protect your data online. For instance, you should have an email address for crucial information like banking, and a second email account to receive retail coupons, gaming, and many others, and the third one for communicating with friends and family.
Do an annual checkup.
Most people overlook an annual checkup. You should audit the websites you use and ensure each has a strong and secure password. Close any online accounts that you do not use.
The steps above are easy, and you can take them to stay safe online. The internet is here to stay, and you should not be afraid to carry out your business or individual activities only. Just take the necessary steps to ensure safety, and everything else will fall into place. Nothing beats the convenience of doing banking or shopping online.