How to protect your personal information online
With the transition to working from home, securing online is becoming increasingly important. It is important to keep your personal information secure. Otherwise, you could fall victim to cyber theft, malware, and other bad actors. But by being smart and careful online, you can avoid some of these pitfalls.
Use a strong password
One of the easiest things you can do to protect your identity is to use strong passwords. A strong password can discourage bad players from accessing your information. Try to use a combination of letters, numbers, capital letters, lowercase letters and special characters to formulate a safe combination. Avoid using your birthday, family members' names and other meaningful words and numbers. The more random, the better! Try to use different passwords on different accounts as well.
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Familiarize yourself with ways to contact
Familiarize yourself with how your services can contact you. For example, if someone claiming to be the IRS sends an e-mail message, it is probably false because they do not usually use digital communication methods. If you are unsure whether your bank or other services are really contacting you, contact them yourself. This way, you can ask a trusted source if the communication was real. Never respond to phishing messages and do not give out personal information without verification.
Use a secure internet connection
When opening your private information, such as financial records, use a secure internet connection. Public Wi-Fi is not always secure. Others who use public Wi-Fi may be able to see what you are watching or working on. Always use a private connection, such as your own personal Wi-Fi, when viewing important information. You can also choose a VPN to protect your information.
Use a firewall and antivirus software
A firewall is designed to prevent unauthorized access to your system. A firewall can help prevent bad actors from accessing your personal information. You should also use antivirus software. Antivirus helps you identify, prevent and remove malicious software from your computer. Be sure to keep all your software up to date to catch unwanted devices from your computer.
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Review your statements
Make sure you review your statements frequently. This way you can catch if there seems to be something wrong. You should also pay attention to your billing cycle. If your billing cycle appears to be off, it could be a sign of fraud. If you are unsure, contact your bank or credit card company for review.
Trust Your Gut
If anything feels wrong, it probably is. If you have any suspicions, take precautions and do not give away your information. You can always double check before taking action!
Stay Safe Online! While protecting your private information can feel daunting, with a few simple steps, you can help prevent bad actors from accessing your computer. If you have a small business, you may want to look into cyber liability insurance to protect your business from a data breach.