Your Digital Identity is at Risk
Social media has encouraged people to share their entire lives with one another. Now more than ever before, it’s easy for cyber criminals to steal your online information and use it against you, either to gain access to your personal identifying information or to steal money from your bank account. Here are some of the best ways to protect your identity while using the internet.
Don’t Fall for Phishing Scams
Phishing scams are the most common form of scam in which you’re contacted by an individual pretending to be someone else, such as the CEO of a business. Either through phone calls, snail mail, or email, they’ll do their best to convince you of their credentials to lure you into trusting them enough to give them your private information. To protect your information online, never give your information to someone until you confirm their reason and identity. For example, double check that your boss did in fact send you a file through email by asking him directly, before you open any malicious attachments.
Share as Little as Possible
One key way to protect your identity online is to share as little information as possible. Sure, we all know never to give out our SSN or send pictures of our IDs to anyone, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Any personal details you share online can give hackers hints about your security information in online accounts. Keep your birthdate, dog’s name, and favorite childhood snack to yourself to reduce the risk of hackers using it against you. If a website requires this information for your account, use security controls to hide that information or consider using a different site altogether.
Monitor Accounts and Devices
Make it a regular habit to monitor your account activity on every account you use, from social media to online banking. This way, you can easily spot suspicious activity before it gets out of control. Make sure you also monitor your devices’ data and use. Never let anyone handle your devices unless you trust them with your personal information, or at the very least keep a watchful eye on them.
Encrypt Any and All Data
Encryption acts like a key; when sending data, your encryption service will lock that data up and only users with the same key can unlock the data. This makes your information practically useless to thieves looking to intercept and steal it. Use encryption for any and all of the services you can; there is plenty of encryption software for emails, applications, message systems, and more.
Add as Much Security to Accounts as You Can
Account security is important for keeping out cyber criminals who may have just enough information to log into them. By adding more layers of security, you make it harder for criminals to gain access to your personal data. Two-factor authentication is a great first step because it requires those criminals to have access to your email, phone, or specific personal knowledge. You should also set accounts to alert you whenever there’s a failed login attempt using your credentials. Lastly, opt for a passwordless authentication solution such as TraitWare. Passwords are the weakest online security link and are very easy for hackers to crack in only a few hours. TraitWare’s passwordless login system uses a unique QR code key for each login attempt, making it impossible for cyber criminals to access your accounts.