Shopping at home or talking with friends on social media can be a great convenience today especially when you have to stay at home. However, there are thieves that want to take advantage of your online presence to steal your money or personal information. There are many actions that you can take to protect this data and keep your assets safe. Here are a few tips to follow to do this.
Watch What You Share On Social Media
These platforms are beneficial to share news that is happening in your life with family and friends that are far away. However, when you overshare, those who wish to steal your identity can study what you post, especially the names of children, pets, or the street you live on, and test them as the passwords to your account or as the challenge questions that the security measures provide. When one works, they have access to your data and can research further for credit card numbers and banking information. Before you announce anything on your social media, evaluate whether you might possibly share too much and leave yourself vulnerable.
Use Strong Passwords
When setting up the security on your online accounts, think of a strong password to use that will protect your information. Using passwordless software can manage these for you and make logging in simple. It should have at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase, a numeral, and a symbol. Try to use combinations that are easy for you to remember but may be confusing for someone else. You can think of a favorite phrase then condense it to letters and numbers. Stay away from immediate family names or the street that you live on. These will be the first words that a thief will try. Change your password in each account regularly and review the logon section of the website you are on to ensure that you are the only device accessing the information.
Install Antivirus Software
Review antivirus and antimalware software until you find a reliable brand that you are comfortable using. Installing this program can sweep your system for bugs that can report your vital information to thieves. It can also intercept emails that can corrupt your hard drive or might cause you to provide your data to someone who plans to steal from you by impersonating another person or company you are familiar with. If you are purchasing a new computer, you can ask that this service be installed on it before you pick it up. You should also have a firewall activated to add another layer of security to your information. Many operating systems have this added to them now. Check your setting to see if this is on and click it to operational if it is off.
Protect Your Cell Phone
One method that hackers use to steal your data is through your cell phone. They can do this wirelessly or by taking your device when you are occupied. Many people access their social media through this as well as shop for food or other items so it can hold an abundance of sensitive information. Use your lock screen and think of a complicated code to secure it that others might not know. When you are someplace that has public Wifi, consider using your cellular data instead. Thieves can use the wireless in these locations to break into your device and take what they want. If you do buy things with your phone, look into applications that require you go through a two-step authentication process to complete the transaction. This will stop another party from making their own purchases using your account. Like your email on your computer, think twice before opening a strange file that is sent to you, whether it is from someone you know or may be unfamiliar with. Your friend might have been hacked and a corrupted file that could hurt your system was sent from their account.
Review Your Statements and Reports
Log into your bank account several times a week to see the transactions that have occurred recently. If something stands out as strange to you, contact your bank and talk to them about what you see. They will be able to clarify what the charge is and proceed with an investigation if there is a problem. You should do this with any credit card you have and your medical statements as well. There are also options to put a hold on your credit so if someone attempts to apply for a card with your personal information, you must be involved to let go of the hold so that it can proceed. This will prevent a thief from accomplishing their task while keeping your rating safe. There are many opportunities on the internet for someone to steal your information and use it for their personal gain, whether it is to steal your money or to damage your property. With the right knowledge and security measures, you can keep your devices and data safe.