When you think about your email account, or your blog, or any other type of social networking site, are you worried at all about your personal information? Many fail to realize that by putting your personal information online on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram DM you are in fact exposing yourself to having your personal information stolen. Within the blink of any eye, your credit card can be used, or your bank account hacked. So what’s the solution? How can you protect your online presence? Unfortunately many don’t even think about this until after their information has been exposed. So how can you make sure your personal information stays safe? Below are five things you can do right now to ensure the safety of your online information.
- Secure passwords
I have to admit that it shocks me every time I hear that passwords have been compromised and one of the reasons is that they were so simple to break. Most websites will advise their users over, and over again, to choose passwords that are difficult to break. What this means is that your password really should have no connection to your personal life whatsoever. Of course, this may be easier to memorize, but it is also easy for someone to figure out. Choose a password that is strong, and make sure that you pick a different one for each website that you log into.
- Don’t store important documents online
If you have downloaded an important document like your tax form online, you may be in the habit of quickly saving it to your email. This, however, is a big mistake. If your email is ever compromised their goes all of your very personal information. Instead, you can print out a hard copy and file it away in a safe place, or save a digital copy to an SD card. Just make sure that it is deleted online.
- Beware of chats
A lot of people also give away a ton of information online while chatting. Those who are out to get your personal information, know exactly what to do and say to get you to talk. For example, they may trick you into thinking they are an old friend from school. Within seconds they can have information on where you went to school and even your birth date. A good rule to follow is to avoid chatting about anything personal. If you need to share personal information with someone it is best to do so the old fashion way, which is face to face or over the telephone. This way you can be sure who you are talking to.
- Secure your computer
Next, you will want to make sure that your computer is well protected. If someone is able to hack into your computer they may be able to get your passwords, as well as any personal information that you currently have stored on it. Do a little bit of research on different programs you can use to make sure your computer is safe and secure.
- Watch what you download
Another way to ensure security online is to watch what you download. Hackers are very creative when it comes to trying to figure out ways to get their hands on your information. Therefore you really have to try your best to stay one step ahead of them. Before you download anything to make sure it goes through a security scan. If you have a virus program on your computer this should not be an issue. If you don’t have one, I strongly suggest that you focus on getting one.