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Stay Safe Online -Tips On Protecting Your Identity

Stay Safe Online -Tips On Protecting Your Identity

Since the early days of the internet, people have been using this amazing network of computers to commit a variety of crimes. 

Identity fraud costs consumers billions a year, and how and when we share information online is a major cause. Depending on which sites you visit and what you do online, your personal information could be vulnerable to online threats. Luckily, staying safe online is easy to do if you follow some simple steps.

Protect Your Personal Details

With only a small amount of personal information, an online criminal can wreak havoc on your credit score. You need to take every opportunity you can to limit the amount of personal ID you share on the internet.

The first thing you should do before creating an account on any type of website is to check it is legitimate. Search for user reviews and ratings before entering any personal information. Your username on a website could lead people to the real you. Do not use your real name on your account IDs. 

If you mix letters and numbers in your usernames make sure you do not use any combinations that are significant to you, like your birthday or year of birth. It may make login details harder to remember but it is worth doing for an extra layer of protection.

Use Online Payment Services

Services like PayPal are a convenient way to pay for most things online and help to protect you from online fraud on illegitimate websites. Processing payments through PayPal protects your financial information and gives you peace of mind.

If you use your PayPal account when shopping online the store never receives your banking details or card numbers. It is accepted everywhere online, from Amazon to online casinos, protecting your sensitive data as you surf and spend on the world wide web. PayPal is not only a smart way to protect your financial information, but it is also a convenient way to pay for things. Visit this site for the best insights regarding online casinos. 

Protect Every Bit and Byte of Data

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have become a mainstream online security solution. There are many reasons for using a VPN service, but the data security they can give you is the most important.

When using a VPN your data is encrypted and anonymized. Even your internet service provider cannot see the information flying through your ethernet cable and onto the world wide web. This stops sophisticated online criminals from snooping on your data and trying to find out more about you. 

Virtual Private Networks can protect you when using public Wi-Fi networks and even your mobile phone’s data service. Data transmitted over public networks can sometimes be accessed by third parties. Using a VPN keeps your data encrypted and harder for them to see.

Use a Password Manager

Do you use the same password across all your many accounts? Do you mix it up a bit with some easy to remember numbers here and there? When you use a special character, is it always an exclamation mark? Congratulations, you are easy pickings for an online criminal.

Password Managers are a safe and convenient way to have multiple, complex passwords for all your online accounts. You can still log in easily and quickly, and you do not have to remember lots of letters and numbers. 

These can save you time logging in and out of accounts and add an extra layer of security to your details. You can use them to generate complex passwords as well as remember them for you, saving you another headache. Some are free and some are paid-for apps, but most VPNs include one as bonus software when you sign up for their service.

Illegal Activities are High Risk

Since the dawn of the internet, people have used the world wide web to illegally share software, music, and videos. Whenever you engage in these kinds of activities online you are putting your computer and your personal information at considerable risk.

Websites that offer illegal software downloads are online dens of thieves. You should steer clear if they are asking you to pay or ‘donate’ with your credit card details. The software you get from these places is always riddled with viruses and programs that spy on your activity. 

Malicious software, known as malware, is often hidden inside unofficial software downloads. Keyloggers are a common type of malware. These report back your keystrokes to criminals who look for login details and passwords for online banking and user profiles. 

With this information, criminals could be draining your current account and maxing your credit cards in a few hours. Swim with sharks and these things happen, so stick to official downloads and virus check before running any installations.

Think Carefully Before Posting on Social Media

People can post dozens of social media updates throughout the day, and we all have the notifications to show it. What many people do not realise is that they might be oversharing their information and telling people more about themselves than they intend to.

When you are posting a selfie on Instagram look at what is behind you. There may be an easy to stop landmark in the background, and you might not want to share your location with people. This can help protect you in the real world as well as online. Criminals would be alerted you are not at home and take advantage, or worse a stalker would know where to find you.

If you ever find yourself sharing a photo of a document, or a screenshot from your phone, check for any personal information that you should blackout. This could be your address on a letter or your phone’s status bar displaying sensitive data. Blur or blackout these parts of the pictures before uploading them.

There are countless ways for people to access your confidential information including your banking details, emails, and messages. 

Taking these steps will help protect you from identity theft and fraud when you are online and keep your data safe. With just a small amount of your data criminals can run riot with your credit rating, and worse. Protect yourself today.

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