We live in a time where we can virtually do anything online. From depositing checks with apps to tracking fitness goals, we are moving closer and closer to a digital lifestyle. This movement means that we need to be more proactive about safeguarding our information online. Identity theft is becoming increasingly common as hackers learn more techniques to obtain information. Identity theft can have negative impacts on various aspects of your finances, including your credit score. Taking small steps to protect your online information can have a lasting, positive impact.
Use Strong Passwords
Many Americans use the same one or two passwords for multiple accounts. This allows the opportunity for hackers to have access to a plethora of information. Using a strong password that does not incorporate easily accessible personal information, such as your name, can add an extra layer of protection to your information. There are services you can utilize to keep track of your passwords or writing them down in an old fashion notebook can help protect your accounts and information.
Avoid Oversharing on Social Media
While you may want to share news and information with all your friends, it is important to be conscious of what you are sharing on social media. By oversharing on social media, identity thefts can access information that can help answer your security questions and grant them access to your accounts. In order to keep your social media accounts as safe as possible, it is important to evaluate the privacy settings.
Update Your Privacy Settings
Many people that use social media are not aware how much of their information is accessible to people that are not their “friends.” Social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, make it easy for users to access and change their privacy settings. It is important to evaluate your settings often as rules and guidelines are consistently altered.
Investigate Before Acting
While it may seem natural to reply when your credit card company asks for personal information over the phone or email, it is important to follow up with the company to ensure the communication was from them. Identity thefts will call people while pretending to be various companies or government entities in order to trick people into providing personal information. You are allowed to ask employees to verify they work for a specific company or personally call the company before providing any personal information. If you do this, identity thefts will sometimes hang up whereas legitimate companies will happily provide you with their credentials.
With technology becoming more incorporated in our lives, it is important to take steps to keep you and your information protected online.