As cyber-attacks and online identity theft continues to be on the rise, many people are eager to protect their privacy as well as identity online. Much of our private information is on the internet, leaving us vulnerable to identity theft by cyber attackers. Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to protect your personal and financial information from them.
How to protect yourself from identity theft
Stay private while on public Wi-Fi networks
Wi-Fi networks are a great convenience when you are on the go, but they can also be very risky. Public networks do not have strong security protections, and this makes it easier for cybercriminals to break into them and take advantage of users.
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A common trick is to set Wi-Fi networks with similar names to the public network, hopping anyone will connect to it instead. You should only connect to a Wi-Fi if the staff of that particular location has verified that it is indeed their connection. It is hard to tell the difference between real Wi-Fi connections and shady ones that have been set up by cyber criminals. Don’t automatically connect to any public Wi-Fi especially if you do not have to enter a password to log in.
Limit the amount of personal information you share on social media
A smart way to protect your privacy online is to avoid over sharing information on social media. You can never be too trusting on the internet. Cybercriminals are always waiting for people to slip up and share identifying information on Face book, Instagram or twitter which they use to access your account and financial information.
When setting up your social media platforms, you do not have to let everyone know every little detail about yourself. Sometimes, we forget and use the same information to set up security questions for other accounts and this gives scammers a way to access them by changing your password.
Tread carefully online – use safe sites only
Scammers use malicious sites to obtain information from unsuspecting browsers. They then use it to steal your identity and engage in malicious activities online. To ensure that you are safe while browsing the internet, always stay alert and pay attention to the sites you click. If you love streaming movies, TV shows and videos online you would want to consider safe sites like thepirateproxybay. Illegitimate streaming sites are riddled with viruses and malware set up by cybercriminals who are looking to steal your identity and commit financial scams in your name.
To ensure that the sites you are using is safe, check the site URL. Safe sites have ‘HTTPS’ in their URL. Alternatively, you will notice a lock symbol at the beginning pf the site’s URL.
Browse while in private mode
The private browsing mode is perfect for web browsers who want to keep their browsing data private. If you don’t want to leave temporary internet files, browsing history, cookies and other details in the computer as you surf the internet, you should browse while in private mode.
Different web browsers have different versions of private browsing. For example, internet explorer ad Firefox calls their private browsing while in chrome browser it is called incognito mode. You have to keep in mind that private mode does not mean the information is completely private. Your internet service provider will still be able to track your browsing activity.
If you rely heavily on one browser as your search engine, you could use a private one for anonymity especially if you are connected to a strange network. Anonymous search engines are designed to block ad trackers on websites you go to.
Secure your mobile devices
Most people spend more time online on their mobile devices as opposed to their laptops. We use our phones to watch videos, go on social media, respond to email and respond to direct messages. So, it is logical that we protect the data on our phones as much as we do on our laptops and computer devices.
The first layer of protection for any smartphone is the pass code. It comes in handy when your phone is stolen or you lose because people will have a harder time accessing the data inside. Always download games and videos from legitimate sites. Otherwise, you might download a dangerous virus and expose all your personal information to scammers.