As more of the world does business online, it has become necessary and convenient to use the internet for many services like banking, shopping, and socializing. You can do all these things without sacrificing your safety if you are smart while you are online. Here are five ways to protect your identity while going digital.
1. Use the Right Passwords
A strong password is the first step to staying safe online. Here are some pointers for creating a strong password.
2. Be Smart about Security Questions
Security questions are often used to verify your identity when you forget a password, or as an extra layer of security. This means the answers to your security questions deserve your attention, just like your password. How hard would it be for someone on Facebook to find out your mother’s maiden name, where you went to elementary school, or the make and model of your first car? Odds are—you’ve already advertised that information for anyone who bothers to look for it. Choose secure questions AND answers, or create a special password to use just for answering security questions.
3.Separate Your Email Addresses
Create separate email addresses for different purposes. The email address you use for banking should be separate from the one connected to your Twitter account. This helps you keep information organized and prevents problems if one account is hacked.
4. Use Credible Websites
5. Use Social Media Carefully
Social media is a wonderful tool for communicating and networking when used correctly. Here are a few pointers for using social media.
Avoiding social media out of fear doesn’t just mean you are missing out on fun; employers are wary of applicants without Facebook accounts. However, potential employers also look at what you post online, and there have been instances of current employees being fired for their online behavior after hours. Be smart about what you put on social networking sites. It is essential to protecting your employment opportunities, your identity, and your personal safety. Identity thieves use information gleaned from social media, but so do regular “old fashioned” burglars.
Use these suggestions to protect your identity online and continue using the internet as the great resource it is.
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