First, I would like to thank Snsfox.com for allowing me to post such information. I have been a fan since I read their article on deleting personal Facebook messages.
Falling victim to scams and having your identity stolen can be one of the worst feeling in the world, it’s like having your privacy invaded by a stranger and not even knowing about it. Today we will talk about methods to stop anyone from invading your privacy and potentially becoming you.
Phishing is a popular term often used within the internet community. The way website phishing works is by changing the URL of websites to be relatively close to the original and then fooling the user into inputting his personal information. Make sure to double check all websites and see that they are HTTP: secure. Most often phishing scams tend to look for this type of information:
- Social Security Numbers
- Home Addresses
- Full Names
- Possible Credit Card Info
- Health Insurance ID Numbers
- Bank Account Numbers
These scams can be evaded easily by taking the extra second to double check the URL. If you ever see something out of place, make sure to leave the site immediately.
If you are like 80% of the world you will most likely have an email sitting around with some private information. Make sure to protect your email as much as possible as there could be even info you might have forgotten about in there. A good way to protect such things is by creating strong and complex passwords. If you’re like me and were never good at passwords, then you can relax, because there are many website that can take care of password generating for you.
Unsolicited email is also another way phishing scams happen. Make sure to have your spam filters up and running on your settings to be able to detect those for you. The majority of the time email filters do a great job of this and you won’t have to worry about anything accidentally being thrown away.
With many programs available for use on the market it is easy to find one that suits your desire. Having a good anti-virus can help keep malicious software from taking root in your hard drive. Take the extra step and keep your anti-virus up to date, as they are always patching to help protect from modern threats. The benefit of having one of these programs is that you can have it running 24/7 and never let something slip by without your consent.
Disposal of Devices
Don’t allow your old devices to be sitting around with important or person information. Make sure to clear all data from the drives before disposing of them. If you do not know how to do this you can always access digital manuals online that can give you a detailed report on how to do it. Remember to do this, because once the item is gone, you never know whose hands it could land in.
With the rise of social media, we all want to tell everyone exactly what we are doing in that given time. This can be a little dangerous don’t you think? I always found it odd when people post where they like to eat and even their address for get-togethers in the event sections. All this type of information should never be given out to strangers. Some might argue that they only have friends on their social media – but did you know others can read those comments? This is a great way for others who potentially took your information to know even more about you.
Never use the GPS location application that most of these sites contain. What it does is link your current location with the post whether it is a picture or a text post.
Virtual Private Networks
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is the best security measure for all your online activity. This is a tool mainly to secure and mask your identity; a good example would be if you place all your computers data on a cutting board and chopped it up into a jigsaw puzzle. Anyone who would want your information now will have a hard time recognizing and using such data. Any time you finish using the virtual private network, and disconnect, all the information goes back to normal, so don’t worry. This is also a great way to work safely anywhere if you connect to public Wi-Fi networks.
Take all this information and use it to your advantage in fighting online identity theft. Many of these tools are easily configurable and don’t take long to figure out for any level of users.