The Internet is a phenomenon that has greatly improved the lives of people everywhere. It has allowed the entire globe to connect in a way that it’s never known before. With a mere click of the mouse, it’s possible to communicate with millions of people from every walk of life. Additionally, any information you want to know is at your fingertips.
On this same note, the Internet has also opened up a whole different can of worms regarding people’s privacy. While the masses are freely sharing their lives and experiences through avenues such as social media, their information is also being captured and exposed easier as the world gets more and more electronically connected.
Because of this, individuals have to become conscious and aware of how to protect themselves against threats like identity theft and credit card fraud. No one is exempt or immune to these problems. Therefore, no matter where you live it’s necessary to take precautions to maintain your personal and financial privacy.
- Change the login information on your computer regularly, especially for sensitive sites that handle banking and accounting.
- Don’t use the same password for all of your accounts. And don’t use the password, “password”.
- If you want to have digital backups of your important personal documents, keep it on a USB drive or CD in a well hidden spot. This will ensure that you have it, but it can’t be accessed in the event your computer is hacked.
- Have reliable malware and virus protection on your computer. Unfortunately, hackers are getting more creative by the day.
- Never post identification numbers or other important personal data to any non-secure or social media sites.
- Check your credit report at least once a year if not more to ensure that there aren’t any accounts or credits that don’t belong to you.
- Have all of your financial matters and assets squared away with a trustworthy consultant who can protect them in the event of fraud or lawsuits.
- When using an ATM, be careful to protect your pin number.
- Clean out your wallet regularly to avoid having unnecessary personal information in it in the event it’s lost or stolen.
- Never send your credit card information to emails or websites that are asking for it (also known as phishing scams), unless you have sought out that purchase online through a secure site.
- Shred paper documents that have your account, identification or tax information on them.
- When loaning out USBs or selling your computer, make sure to erase all possible pertinent information.
Following just a few common sense recommendations can keep your life and identity private. It’s much easier to prevent a problem than to try to fix it afterwards.