While the internet and mobile devices have made our lives easier and better overall, failing to protect your private information poses a serious threat. Sadly, the social media networks we love can facilitate identity theft and fraud by giving cybercriminals access to your sensitive information if they get into your account. Gone are the days when anti-virus protection was enough to keep you safe. Hackers have more ways now than ever to gain access to your personal data.
In this brave new world where we live in the cloud, identity theft protection services can give you peace of mind as you use cloud-based accounts on various devices. At the same time, common sense practices should also be followed.
In order to have a safer online presence, here are six tips you need to practice in order to protect your privacy and keep your information safe online:
Safer Online Presence: Step-by-Step Guide to Stay Protected Always
1. Create Strong Passwords for Your Online Accounts
Your passwords are the first line of defense when it comes to online accounts containing sensitive personal information. Don’t use passwords people who know you can easily guess. Also, don’t use obvious passwords, such as the word “password” or your name. The longer and more complex a password is, the safer your account will be. It’s also smart to avoid using the same password for all your accounts, and change up your passwords every few months.
2. Keep All Your Devices Password-Protected
Consider all the apps on your phone or tablet you’re logged into that could make you vulnerable if your phone got stolen, or if a peeping tom got a hold of it. It’s critical to have a password on your phone, or to use facial recognition technology to unlock your phone if your phone supports it. While it does take time to unlock your phone every time you want to use it, this layer of security is well worth your time.
3. Engage Only with People You Know
Don’t be tempted to talk with users on social media who you don’t know. Fake profiles are out there, which can be used to commit crimes. Make sure you’re selective with friend requests, and avoid responding to users who seem interested in you for no apparent reason.
4. Don’t Share Sensitive Personal Information Online
Be mindful of what you’re sharing on social media and on websites. Avoid posting your home address or phone number, because this type of data makes it easier for criminals to steal your identity. Before you submit any private information to a website or perform a transaction on it, make sure it’s a legitimate institution by doing your research first.
5. Customize Privacy Settings on Your Social Media Accounts
Every social media network or social app has privacy settings that allow you to decide who sees your account information and how much they see. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the privacy policies of every channel you’re a part of, and customize your privacy settings to ensure that only people you trust are seeing any sensitive information or media.
6. Get Identity Theft Protection
Identity theft protection services monitor your financial accounts and loan or credit applications that are filed in your name. They’re able to detect potential fraud so that you can be alerted immediately if someone has stolen your identity. This allows you to handle the situation before it’s too late when the damage is already done.
Taking Action to Protect Yourself Online
Everyone has an online presence in today’s word, which creates an extra layer of vulnerability. While you shouldn’t let it stop you from benefiting from what cutting-edge technology and online services have to offer, you need to use common sense. Identity theft, fraud and account hacking can cause long-term damage to your financial health and personal reputation. Keeping your accounts safe in a cloud-based world and using an identity theft protection service can help you stay in the clear.
This article has been able to make you understand why safer online presence is nearly impossible to achieve, and we continue further to discuss different techniques to follow if you intend to have a safer online presence free of exploits.