5 Effective Ways to Protect Your Data and Online Identity
Operating in the online arena has become an integral part of daily life for most people. Whether you’re checking your email, using social media, browsing the web, shopping, or even managing your own blog or website, you probably spend a significant amount of time online each and every day. And while the internet has quickly become the go-to means of communication and information gathering for the modern man, security for this growing medium is constantly evolving and trying to catch up with cyber-criminals. And the gap is evidenced by the high incidence of identity theft via online and mobile means. But users are getting smarter and software developers are doing all they can to offer programs designed to protect businesses and consumers from the threat of identity theft. If you’re interested in making sure you don’t become a victim, here are a few effective ways to protect your data and identity online.
- Firewall: – The first thing you need to do is make sure that your home computer has a firewall to stop the entry of any Tom, Dick, or hacker that wants to mine your personal data in order to sell it, gain control of your identity, or otherwise maliciously intrude. Most computers and laptops these days come with a firewall of some sort built in, but you need to make sure before you start using a new device. And keep in mind that you need to take extra precautions when using the internet. You should start by password protecting your home WiFi, staying away from public WiFi networks, and using encryption for communications any time you’re on an unsecured network.
- Antivirus software: – Viruses and malware can be used to infiltrate your computer, break down defenses, and transmit your data to hackers or other unscrupulous parties looking to steal your identity or simply cause trouble. But by going with the best antivirus or anti-spyware programs at your disposal, you can catch these threats and stop them before you lose data or suffer identity theft. In the event you do lose data consider a recovery system like http://www.securedatarecovery.com/locations/texas
- Adequate passwords: – A large part of online protection revolves around personal responsibility, and this includes setting appropriate passwords for your devices. When operating online via a computer, you should have passwords in place for your OS, your WiFi, and any online platforms you sign up for (email, social media, and of course, ecommerce sites). Passwords should be a minimum of 8 characters, including letters and numbers, and they should be something that’s not easy to guess. Furthermore, you should change important passwords regularly. Whenever possible, use two-step verification to make it more difficult for accounts and devices to be hacked. As for mobile devices, makes sure that they lock automatically when not in use and avoid using simple passwords like “1234″ or “0000″ that can easily be guessed.
- Look for the lock: – Any time you feel you need a secure connection online, such as when you’re entering personal information like your name, address, or credit card number, there are a couple of things you can look for to ensure you’re protected. First of all, check to see if the web address starts with “https”. The “s” stands for secure. Then look for a lock logo somewhere on the screen. Scrolling over it will provide information on the security software the site employs. Finally, don’t save credit card numbers on accounts whenever possible, or use payment services like PayPal as an alternative.
- Common sense: – If you’re running a business, you could certainly use an IPVanish speed review to find the best VPN service, but the average person won’t need a virtual private network to operate safely in the online arena. What you will need is some common sense. Don’t reply to spam and for goodness sake, do not provide personal data to solicitors. Don’t visit venues that are known for being plagued with malicious software (viruses, spyware, malware, etc.), such as adult entertainment websites. Don’t enter personal information when using unsecured networks. Don’t EVER give out your passwords. And if you’re unsure about how to proceed when it comes to securing your data and identity online, ask for professional help to ensure you’re protected.
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