It is practically impossible to imagine the world today without computers and the World Wide Web. This would mean living without online games, social networking sites, online streaming and downloading platforms, not to mention online shopping venues. Apart from these, there are a multitude of factors that make the Internet an indispensable tool: It is easy and fun to use. It is convenient. It is a gateway to a world of information and activities. Disconnecting from the Internet is not an easy task these days. It may feel as if you are disconnecting from the rest of the world, which actually makes sense considering the number of people from around the world who are using the Internet on a daily basis. Despite how engaging and functional the Internet may be, using it opens people to many online security risks. One of these is identity theft. If you’ve considered the Internet as an indispensable part of your everyday life, then you need to use it responsibly and guard yourself from these security risks.
Securing Your Online Information in 3 Easy Steps Identity thieves, these days, are very creative in their tactics to victimize an unsuspecting Internet user. Some thieves pretend to be representatives from government agencies and ask for your social security number straight out. Some send technical and program computer viruses via email, which target your hard disks for personal information like log-in passwords. Some even create special skimming devices that could be used to scan and copy credit card information. Vigilance regarding your online privacy should your first and most important step to enhanced identity theft protection. Here are a few practical tips on how you can protect your privacy online: Back-up your stored information. It is never ideal to store all your files in one location. Once a virus attacks your system, everything in your main storage will be infected. You become highly susceptible to fraudulent attacks when this happens. Electronic copies are not indestructible. They could be damaged, too, or worse, hacked. It is always better to keep a back-up of your personal files in another secure location. Be wary and cautious of your communications. Always be cautious about any information people ask from you, whether you give the information by phone, email, or regular mail. Keep in mind that representatives of government offices would never just call or email you for confidential information; they will usually send you official letter with official stamps and signatures. You have to be extra careful with your online communications, as well. Malware is often sent as an email attachment, so always be skeptical about questionable attachments. You will also want to be inquisitive of strangers who email you. You do not want to give them your social security number simply because they say you won something that requires identity verification. Pay attention to how much information you share. Always be aware of what you send or upload online, whether to your email, blog, or social media accounts. These are only a few tips. There are also numerous data security programs out there, such as identity monitors and credit checking services. These are services you can subscribe to that provide an extra layer of defense against identity theft and credit scams. It is important to remember that no professional service will be as effective as your own vigilance and sense of accountability in protecting your personal information. As responsible Internet users, we cannot just rely on technology without being accountable for the safety of our own information. We should all treat our personal information as gems, and keep them out of the reach of thieves. In the end, it is our personal information, and no one else is responsible for guarding it, but us.