Millions of Americans go online everyday and don’t realized how vulnerable their information can be due to the lack of security of some websites, an increasing number of phishing scams and the lack of control from their private settings.
Last year 12 millions Americans fell victim to the fraud and had their identities stolen. Today we are going to give a few quick tips on how to protect yourself from these cyber crimes. Social Media became one of the favorites “playground” for thieves and malicious virus to steal your personal information.
1. Passwords: When is the last time you changed your password? This is a very basic but important step to take but it is important change your password from time to time. Some websites allow you to see if the password you are entering is harder to crack, by stating if it is “strong” or “very strong”. Don’t make them simple like your pet’s name or “123”, but if the website allows you to include numbers, capital letter and symbols, do it! Make sure your password is “strong”, “very strong”; “very good” or “excellent”. Cyber thieves can easily identify your password if you ever made it public. On this note make sure the privacy settings on your social networks are well secure.
2. Emails: NEVER email your credit card number or Social Security number to anyone. Malicious hackers are always looking for this crucial information once they get into your account. Be very careful opening attachments and downloading files, even if you know the source.
3. Online banking: The same way you check your e-mail on a daily basis, you should monitor the activity of your debt and credit cards for any suspicious transactions. If you feel, that your account was compromised and you had your information stolen, contact your bank immediately. It is also recommended that online, you should use credit cards instead of debit cards, since debit cards do not have as a strong protection against fraud compared to credit. You also should contact your bank and ask if they have free software to protect your online banking.
4. Wireless connections: If you have a wireless router at home, make sure to make it secure by including a password, this way a third party won’t be able to access your signal connection. Some people also enable the encryption to scramble the information you send back and forth online.
To learn more about other steps you can take in case your information is stolen, click here. It is very important to share this information with your friends and family members as some of them might have your personal information stored in their computers as well. Keep an eye out and stay safe!