Here are the top 10 ways you can protect yourself online: The most common way to protect your online identity is to focus on creating strong passwords. All Rights Reserved. If you implement these security best practices, you’ll be well ahead of the majority of the online population: There’s no end to the security precautions you can take—we didn’t even cover using a TOR browser, for example, or making sure your registrar keeps the WHOIS information on your website (if you have one) private. Fewer and fewer unsecured retail web sites (those that begin with “http” rather than “https”) conduct transactions, but it’s still something to keep in mind. Skimmers connected to gas pumps can capture your credit card info and so can restaurant staff. If you are someone who ignores all the advice on how to protect your identity, it’s time to act. Mix up the letters and numbers used in your password and use symbols and a combination of upper and lowercase numbers when possible in order to protect yourself from online security breaches. Also, they can damage your reputation on social networks. How to protect your identity online. With that in mind, we’ve separated the precautions you should take into three levels: Common sense (the stuff everyone should be doing), heightened security (for the savvier), and bunker-mentality (for those who are willing to take extreme measures). But the rule is, if they're easy to … Learn more about how to file a complaint about distance programs or courses. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to protect your own online identity and personal information. Before making any sort of financial transaction online, look for signs that show whether the... 3. It is possible to accidentally share your personal information with others if you don't set up your web browser properly. Additionally, it is important to never share your password with anyone. As the percentage of the population using the internet increases, so do the security risks. Online, it’s even more dangerous, but people are increasingly more savvy to the most egregious hacks. Be sure to purchase and install one of these suites to protect your personal information online. It might be necessary to change your passwords a few times each year. But the world has changed. When you do not have a password on your wireless network, anyone in your range can use and access your internet, even a hacker. Offline, criminals steal mail from mailboxes or dumpster dive through trash, both of which might be chock full of credit offers and personal finance information (which is why you should own a shredder). These cookies are details websites store on your computer, including information about what sites you visit and what you do there. But to be truly be protected, you need to do these things, and regularly. Protect your computer and smartphone with strong, up-to-date security software. You want cookies to be enabled, but to limit them only to websites that require it. protect yourself from online security breaches, bachelor's degree in cybersecurity is the best way, Learn more about how to file a complaint about distance programs or courses. While these high-tech thieves are certainly sophisticated, there are many monkey wrenches you … Protecting your identity online should be no different from physically protecting it. The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support How-To Geek. Be sure to take this extra step when downloading or installing a browser to ensure your privacy and safety. Join 350,000 subscribers and get a daily digest of news, geek trivia, and our feature articles. But Wosar also acknowledged there are reasonable and pragmatic precautions people can take. When Sandra Bullock starred in The Net in 1995, identity theft seemed new and unbelievable. “Scammers look for vulnerable people to build a relationship. This includes blocking harmful software such as spyware, viruses, and phishing scams that can be installed secretly when you are online. To do this, look for two things: the trusted security lock symbols and the extra "s" at the end of http in the URL or web address bar. And there’s always a new scam around the corner. Dave Johnson has worked as a tech journalist since the days of the Palm Pilot and Windows 95. To do this, you will access the "set-up" option on the browser and choose to configure the browser so that it doesn't reveal your name, email address or other information. This keeps your name, phone number, address, credit card number and other sensitive information from being seen by anyone else. At the same time, a lock symbol will also appear on the right side of the address bar or at the bottom left of your browser window. Another option for setting up your browser to protect your online data is by enabling cookies only when required by a website. Most of them keep the details to themselves, but this is also a way dishonest people get your information. Phishing scams use a variety of methods to obtain your personal information and steal your identity. What can a degree in Cybersecurity do for you? You wouldn’t give private information to a stranger on a night out so you should apply the same rules online… The most common way to protect your online identity is to focus on creating strong passwords. 2. Since we launched in 2006, our articles have been read more than 1 billion times. To avoid being the victim of a phishing scam never open emails or attachments when the sender is unknown and don't click on unsecure links from strange emails. When you are on the page that's asking for your credit card information, the "http" changes to "https" when it is a secure site. By Charles Poff ... before clicking and don't enter information into forms without being sure that you're not handing over the keys to your digital identity … Top 10 Ways to Protect Your Identity Online 1. Another way to protect your online identity and sensitive information when sharing it online is to get private data protection. You should also enable the encryption feature on the wireless router, which scrambles any data you send online to further protect your sensitive data. “Unless you’re willing to take extraordinary measures, like abandoning all technology and relocating to the Amazon to live with an uncontacted tribe, real privacy is almost impossible to achieve,” lamented Fabian Wosar, chief technology officer at Emsisoft. Never discard or recycle bank statements, bills, or any document that contains … If your digital identity is stolen, cyber-criminals can access your bank accounts or make online purchases in your name. Before making any sort of financial transaction online, look for signs that show whether the website is encrypted or not. If you’re not doing these things, you might as well stop locking your front door and leave your unlocked car idling in your driveway: As the saying goes, you don’t have to run faster than the bear; you just have to outrun your buddy. Or he uses your personal information to steal your tax refund or pretends to be you if he’s arrested. After that, they ask for money or get enough personal information to conduct identity fraud.”. Look for Encryption. When creating a password, choose something that will not be easily cracked or decoded. By employing a private data protection suite, you can further prevent hackers from gathering your personal information. There are many different phishing scams out there, but they can be avoided by educating yourself on how to recognize them. to speak with a knowledgable Admissions Advisor, 1-866-295-31061600 Burrstone RoadUtica, NY 13502, © 2020 Utica College Privacy Policy Website Terms & Conditions Sitemap. After all, identity theft is usually a crime of convenience and opportunity, so your goal is to make yourself the smallest target possible. These two signals show that the site is encrypted, which means nobody will be able to see information as it's sent to the website owner. Additionally, avoid anyone offering money, unfamiliar job opportunities or requests for donations to charities as this might be a plot to obtain your personal information and online identity. Never use a word or number that someone can associate with you such as a first, middle, or last name, a spouse or child's name, address, phone numbers, employers, or other identifying letters or numbers. “Another popular scam is through online dating apps,” said Whitney Joy Smith, president of The Smith Investigation Agency. Protect your online passwords and strengthen them too Many of us use passwords we won't easily forget, like 1234, our birth dates, or our home towns. And then there are plain old hacks, such as when databases full of personal information are cracked. Some of the popular security suites include Norton Antivirus, McAfee Virus Protection, Ad-Aware Pro Security, and AVG Internet Security.

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