The internet has pioneered new methods of communication, gaming, and simply staying connected with those who mean the most to us in life. With the majority of individuals having some form of access to the internet, it is no wonder that online crime, identity theft, and hacking has skyrocketed. Protecting your information online does not require you to have a complete understanding of how computers work, programming, or savvy techniques. With the right tips, secure your personal data while still enjoying all of the wonders the internet has to offer.
Protect Your Online Passwords
Protecting your online passwords is the most important tip to keep in mind anytime you are browsing for information or communicating with friends and loved ones. Choose strong passwords that are not relevant to your everyday life. Avoid using pet and children names or words that can be found with quick searches on your official website, blog, or social media pages.
Use a password generator to implement a secure password with randomly generated numbers, symbols, and letters. For each password you create, use both lowercase and capitalized letters along with numbers and symbols if possible. The stronger your password is, the less likely you are to become a target of a potential online hacker or identity theft.
Minimize What You Share on Social Media
Social media has become a major part of millions of lives around the world. Using social media is a great way to keep in touch with loved ones while sharing memories and experiences with followers and those who have a genuine interest in your everyday life. However, it is important to limit and minimize what you post to your public social media pages.
One way to effectively reduce the risk of oversharing on social media is to update your current privacy settings. Set all of your social media pages to private to avoid sharing your updates with the world and anyone who visits your page publicly. Add only people you know and are familiar with, verifying the authenticity of each of their pages individually before accepting or sending friend requests.
Do not share information about your traveling plans or when you intend to spend time away from home, as this has led to an increase in targeted burglaries and vandalism. Instead, keep your online friend circle tight-knit for maximum security.
Remain Cautious About Sharing Your Social Security Number Online
Whenever you are prompted to share your social security number, even if it is just just the last four numbers, remain cautious of the website that is requesting the information. Anytime a social security number is requested it is important to consider the source while also verifying the official URL you are visiting. Most websites do not request a full social security number unless they are an authentic and trusted banking institution or another financial entity. Always conduct adequate research on any company who is interested in obtaining sensitive information such as your social security number before sharing it online.
Choose a Service for Additional Protection While Online
While there is often no foolproof way to protect yourself 100% anytime you are online, there are services in place that ensure the security of your most private and sensitive information. Services such as Lifelock offer guarantees to keep your social security number safe as well as other sensitive details such as your bank account's routing and account numbers. When you want to implement an additional layer of protection for yourself while browsing online and connecting with individuals from around the world, research Lifelock cost options to find a solution that is optimal for you and your household.
Once you feel comfortable with your online security, browse social media, email servers, and your favorite websites with ease. By taking the necessary steps to secure yourself online, gain peace of mind whenever you are browsing without being vulnerable or putting yourself and your personal life at risk.