Your identity is important. We’re not talking about identity in metaphysical terms. We’re discussing identity in terms of your birth certificate, Social Security number, financial information, address, relatives, and so on—the stuff for which data security firms exist. Stuff that is often traceable online.
In other words: The things that allow people to trace you—and to pose as you.
This is known as identity theft. Thieves steal your personal information in order to make large purchases (with your money), create mischief with various government and private agencies (which falls on you) and even take out loans and health insurance in your name (making you responsible for interest payments and copays).
Basically, any sort of fraudulent use of your personal and financial details would be considered identity theft. And it’s a big enough problem that the Federal Trade Commission operates its own identity theft security wing.
Thought you had real privacy online? Think again.
So can you really protect your identity online? In short, yes.
In this theft-ridden, highly virtual world, you need data protection. IDShield can help. First, let’s look at 3 of the best ways to protect your identity.
1. Protect your personal information online
Traditionally, thieves relied on quick hands and misdirection to lift wallets and personal items from unsuspecting victims.
Nowadays, however, robbery is easier—and more lucrative than ever: Cyber thieves can get a hold of your personal financial and official government information and bleed your bank accounts dry. And that’s just for starters.
So: How to protect your personal data online? And how can you stay safe online?
Here are a few tips:
- Use strong passwords
- Look for encryption
- Install security suites
- Turn on web browser blacklisting
- Avoid phishing scams
- Get private data protection
- Password-protect your wireless router
- Hide your personal information
- Enable cookies on your web browser only when required
- Protect your credit card info
That seems like a lot. And it is—that is to say, cybercriminals can steal a huge haul of your personal data with relatively little effort, and it takes an asymmetric amount of effort on your part to protect yourself.
2. Secure your social media accounts
Social media is a big deal: The various major platforms allow people to stay in touch with old friends, make new friends around the world—and give away too much sensitive information.
In other words, the privacy risks of social media are all too real.
Here are some ways you can protect your data on social media:
- Use a strong password unique to each platform
- Check what apps are connected to your social media
- Close the accounts that you’re not using
- Keep your mobile apps updated
- Use a unique email for your social media accounts
Social media is a big part of many people’s social lives. You don’t necessarily need to get rid of your accounts. You do need to be careful about what you post, however. And you may even require further security measures, depending on what sites you’re using and how you’re using them.
3. Secure your email account
When was the last time you posted a letter? When did you last buy stamps and envelopes, write or print out a piece of text, seal it, stamp it and track down a mailbox?
Email has all but replaced traditional post as the world’s communication method of choice. So email account security is a major thing.
Email is so important you’ll have to take some steps to secure your email account.
- Perform a security checkup
- Update your software
- Use unique, strong passwords
- Remove apps and browser plugins that you’re not using
- Protect against suspicious messages and content
- Reset your email account privacy settings to be more restrictive
The Pony Express won’t be making a comeback. So if your email account isn’t thoroughly protected, now would be the time to fix that.
Protect yourself with IDShield
There’s a lot you can do to protect your identity online. Securing your personal information, social media pages and email accounts can offer peace of mind.
But sometimes the problem is more serious. Fortunately, IDShield is here to take care of major Internet privacy issues. Online identity and reputation protection is at the core of what we do. Our team protects you and your family against a wide variety of thefts, scams and direct attacks.
Visit our website today to learn more about what we can do for you.
Next, we’ll go over how to check your online reputation score and what it means for you.