How can I protect my Identity Online?
Keeping your Identity Safe Online
Your identity is one of your most valuable assets. It includes your name, Social Security number, date of birth, address, and other personal information. If your identity is stolen, criminals can use it to open new accounts in your name, rack up debt, and even commit crimes.
That’s why it’s important to take steps to protect your identity online. Here are some tips:
- Use strong passwords and enable multi-factor authentication (MFA). Strong passwords are at least 12 characters long and include a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring you to enter a code from your phone in addition to your password when logging in.
- Be careful about what information you share online. Avoid sharing your personal information on social media or other public websites. Only share your personal information with trusted websites and businesses.
- Be aware of the latest phishing scams. Phishing emails and attachments are designed to trick you into revealing your personal information or clicking on malicious links. Be suspicious of any email or attachment that asks for your personal information or that comes from a sender you don’t recognize.
- Keep your software up to date. Software updates often include security patches that can protect you from known vulnerabilities. It’s important to install updates as soon as they become available.
- Use a firewall and antivirus software. A firewall can help to protect your computer from unauthorized access, while antivirus software can help to detect and remove malware.
- Monitor your credit reports and bank statements regularly. This will help you to identify any unauthorized activity on your accounts as early as possible.
- Use a password manager. A password manager can help you to create and manage strong, unique passwords for all of your accounts.
- Use a VPN when using public Wi-Fi. A VPN encrypts your traffic, making it more difficult for criminals to intercept your data.
- Be careful about what apps you download. Only download apps from trusted sources.
- Be careful about what links you click on in text messages and social media posts. Phishing scams are becoming increasingly common on these platforms.