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How to Protect Your Identity Online

Technology is something that can be utilized to enhance our lives in many ways. The seemingly limitless amount of information at our fingertips and ability to communicate with anybody anywhere in the world is truly remarkable. Unfortunately, technology can also be used in harmful ways, with one of the most common being identity theft. Millions of people each year have their identities stolen, an issue which can be tremendously difficult to ever get straight. Fortunately, there are ways for people to protect their identities online. While there is no absolute measure that can reasonably be taken to completely ensure your identity will be safe, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything at all.

– Choose Better Passwords: The use of simple passwords is all too common, with many people still using “password” as a means to log in. Try to pick something as random as possible using numbers and capital letters in various spots. An easy way to do this would be to pick a phrase that’s unique and memorable to you, and turn it into an acronym. Another thing to remember is not to use the same passwords at multiple sites.

Keep Your Wireless Router Safe: In order to keep your information safe, a wireless router should be used only if it is password protected. Without that password, anybody and everybody can use it easily obtain information.

Recognize Phishing Scams: Phishing is an all-too common way for identities to get stolen, but it is one of the easiest to avoid as long as one takes just a little care. A phishing scam is essentially something that allows an individual to capture your identity via email. It often comes from links or requests from people you do not know, so never click on a link from a random email, and simply ignore emails from people you are unfamiliar with.

Enable security software: Having adequate security software installed on your laptop or desktop should not be considered optional, it should be deemed mandatory. Your computer should have a firewall set up, along with programs to shield you from spyware and viruses. These programs may have to be purchased, but they are crucial to keeping your online identity safe from those that are seeking to steal it.

– Use Your Credit Card Sparingly: Online shopping is as popular as ever, and for good reason. The convenience offered by sitting at a computer and clicking a button is something most people cannot resist. However, it also opens the door for hackers to get ahold of your information, so try and use a credit card as little as possible. When you do use it, be certain the transaction page is encrypted, which will hide the information being sent.

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