6 Tips to Avoiding Online Identity Theft
Identity theft occurs on a daily basis and ruins many people’s lives both financially and emotionally. There are 6 tips to avoiding online identity theft that will help prevent this heinous crime from happening to you. These tips are not total protection; however they will make it much harder for a thief to steal your identity and your happiness. You don’t have to be a victim.
The first in 6 tips to avoiding online identity theft is to remember that anyone can hack your information on the internet especially if you aren’t careful to protect it. Many people participate in online banking, however most do not understand how they can protect this information. The key thing to remember is that you must log out of the banking site when you are finished with what you are doing. Simply closing the browsing window does not log you out of the site. Anyone who has hacked your computer network connection can see what you have been doing online after you’ve already closed your browser. By logging out, you make it more difficult for them to access your private banking information.
Most browsers now offer the option of remembering the user’s login and password information. This is a hacker’s dream. Never choose to have your login and password information saved. Again, this leaves the hacker open to accessing your information without your knowledge or permission. From their remote access computer, they can log on to any of the sites that require password and log in information once they have accessed your computer. And if you happen to get a virus, learn how to remove a conduit virus.
Change your log in and password information at least every six weeks. This will help slow down anyone who has hacked into your network and stolen your log in and password information. By changing it on a regular basis you make life a little more difficult on the person who is trying to take control of your identity and use it for their gain. Make sure that your log in and password does not match each other and keep them non-specific to you. If the thief knows you, then they will surely figure out your password.
If you must shop online do not save your credit card or bank card information on any of the shopping websites. Although most online websites use secure transaction methods, they are not always hacker proof. If you save your information with an online store you are waving a flag to an identity thief and saying “come steal from me”. Although you may be tempted by an online website’s claim that they have a completely secure system of managing your credit card information, don’t believe them. No system is a 100% secure.
Don’t leave your browsing window open longer than necessary to complete whatever it is you are doing. The longer you leave this open the more time an identity thief has to access your information. This is why many banking sites will “time out” after there has been no activity on a site for a specific amount of time. Many sites will also require you to log back in so that they can insure that you are who you say you are and not an identity thief.
Never email your private information to anyone. Don’t even email it to your family. Email is one of the easiest ways for an identity thief to access a person’s personal information. This is even true to “encrypted” emails. Just because it says that your email is encrypted doesn’t mean that it is 100% safe from hackers.
Overall you can protect yourself from identity theft online. These 6 tips to avoiding online identity theft will help you keep your identity where it belongs, with you. Never take a chance and think that you are completely immune to having your identity taken from you. Everyone is at risk.
Sam thankfully has never been a victim of identity theft personally, but he knows many people who have not been so lucky. He is a contributing writer for ppiclaims.org.uk.
Tags: Identity Theft, Money